Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Monday unanimously chosen as the new chairman of the trust which manages the world famous Somnath Temple at Prabhas Patan town in Gujarat's Gir-Somnath district, becoming the second PM to hold the post.
Modi, one of the trustees of the Shree Somnath Trust, was named to the top post unanimously during a meeting which he attended by via video conferencing.
"The trustees unanimously chose Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as the next chairman of the Trust, to guide it in the times to come. The Prime Minister accepted the responsibility and also appreciated the efforts of Team Somnath," said a PIB release in Delhi.
"He expressed hope that together, the trust will be able to further improve infrastructure, accommodation arrangements, recreation facilities and help establish stronger connection of the pilgrims with our great heritage. A review of the facilities, ongoing activities and projects was also carried out during the meeting," it said.
At the virtual meeting, the trustees paid tributes to former Gujarat Chief Minister late Keshubhai Patel, the ex-chairman of the Trust.
After former PM Morarji Desai, Modi is the second Prime Minister who has been appointed the chairman of the temple trust. As per trust records, Modi has become the eighth chairman of the trust.
The post of the Somnath Trust's chairman fell vacant after the death of Patel in October last year. Patel had served as the chairman for 16 years (2004-2020). Current trustees include BJP leader LK Advani, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat-based scholar JD Parmar and businessman Harshvardhan Neotia. Trustee-Secretary P K Laheri said Shah proposed the name of Modi as the next chairman.
"While Shah proposed the name of PM Modi as chairman, I seconded it and the other trustees then unanimously elected the PM as the new chairman. The trustees would hold another meeting to discuss future plans," Laheri told reporters after the meeting on Monday evening.
As per the records, Desai had served as the chairman between 1967 and 1995. Besides Desai and Patel, some of the illustrious past chairpersons of the trust include Jamsaheb Digvijaya Singh Ji, Kanaiyalal Munshi, Jay Krishna Hari Vallabh, Dineshbhai Shah and Prasanvadan Mehta, the release said.