Minister Shale Mohammad said that he visited the Shiva temple due to his personal belief
Shale Mohammad, the only Muslim face in Ashok Gehlot's cabinet, offered prayers at a Shiva temple in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer days after taking charge of the minority affairs department.
Mr Mohammad, son of Muslim religious leader Gazi Fakir, reached his constituency Pokhran in Jaisalmer on Sunday for the first time after becoming a minister.
"Gods and goddesses don't belong to any caste. It is not about Hindus and Muslims. Everyone has his faith. We have Ganga-Jamuni brotherhood which is in itself an example. Hindus and Muslims both have strong faith in Baba Ramdev (a temple in Ramdevra of local deity Baba Ramdev)," Mr Mohammad told reporters after performing puja.
The minister said that he visited the temple due to his personal belief.
Madhu Changani, priest of the temple, said Mr Mohammad has a long association with the shrine and it was not the first time he performed puja. "He had visited this temple during state assembly election as well. It was not the first time he visited the temple. He has some association with the temple," he said.
The minister performed puja for about half-an-hour following Hindu rituals. He also performed ablution and offered honey and milk on lord Shiva's idol, the priest added.
Mr Mohammad won the Pokhran seat in the recently-held state elections, defeating BJP's Swami Pratap Puri, a spiritual leader and head of Taratara Math in Barmer district.