The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, flagged off the first batch of Haj pilgrims from the State on Monday. The president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Rector of Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow, Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadwi, recited the “Dua-e-Safar” (prayer before departing on a journey) on the occasion. The Hajis were then jointly flagged off by Mr. Yadav and Maulana Nadwi.
Maulana Nadwi had been extended a personal invite by the Urban Development and U.P. State Haj Committee Chairman, Mohammad Azam Khan. A release issued by the Haj Committee Secretary, Abrar Ahmed, on Sunday mentioned that Maulana Nadwi had been requested by Mr. Khan to flag off the first batch of pilgrims from the Haj House for Amausi airport here on Monday. The Chief Minister’s name had not been mentioned and it was understood that the first batch would be flagged off by Maulana Nadwi.
The Urban Development Minister has been keeping a low profile these days and was not present in the function marking the completion of the government’s six months in office at the Chief Minister’s official residence on Saturday. The other senior Minister, Shivpal Singh Yadav, was present along with Health Minister Ahmed Hasan.
Mr. Yadav, who spent some time with the Hajis at the Haj House, said that he was feeling very happy to be in their midst. In a short speech, the Chief Minister urged the pilgrims to pray for peace and prosperity of the country and the State. Stating that the State government is committed to improving the amenities for the travellers at the Haj House, Mr. Yadav lauded the efforts of Azam Khan towards this end.
Mr. Khan was not present as he is in Rampur in connection with the inauguration of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University by the Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Tuesday. The State Health Minister, Ahmed Hasan, and the Revenue Minister, Ambika Chaudhary, were present.
Two batches of 300 pilgrims each left by two Air India flights (5111 and 5113) for Madina in Saudi Arabia. The last batch of Haj travellers from Uttar Pradesh will depart on October 5.