The first special 'Gram Parikrama Yatra' Pilgrimage Train carrying devotees from Goa to Ayodhya was flagged off from the Vasco railway station on Monday night.
The train to Darshan Nagar station in Ayodhya was flagged off by Rajya Sabha MP Sadanand Shet Tanavade, Social Welfare Minister Shubhash Phaldessai, Vasco MLA Krishna Salkar, Mormugao MLA Sankalp Amonkar, Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) Chairperson Girish Borker and others.
Speaking to media, Tanavade said the special train carrying Goan devotees would halt only across two other railway stations in Goa, before proceeding directly to Ayodhya.
"We have flagged off the train from here and it will now halt at Margao and Thivim railway stations where the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will be present. This train will reach Ayodhya on February 15 early morning and the CM along with ministers and MLAs will reach Ayodhya. They will go together for the Ram Darshan in the temple," said Tanavade.
“There are over 1,400 devotees in the train and we have got a great response. We will have another special train leaving from Goa on February 26 which will carry the remaining devotees from Goa," said Tanavade.
Vasco MLA Krishna Salkar said it was an emotional moment for all the people and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the State government for having arranged this direct train to Ayodhya.
Mormugao MLA Sankalp Amonkar said Ayodhya would soon be added as a destination for the CM Dev Darshan Scheme.
“This is the first train leaving for Ayodhya. This train is arranged by the BJP and devotees are being sent free of cost at the party level and not at government cost," said Amonkar.