Pune, Jul 1 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday performed the 'mahapooja' of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini at the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district on the occasion of 'Ashadhi Ekadashi'.

As per the convention, the chief minister performed the pooja with his wife Rashmi Thackeray at the temple of Lord Vitthal at 2.30 am, and prayed to God to make Maharashtra and the country free of coronavirus and to grant peace and prosperity to farmers in the state.

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His son and state minister Aaditya Thackeray was also present at the religious ceremony.

'Warkari' (devotee of Lord Vitthal) couple Vitthal Badhe and Anusuya Badhe got the opportunity to perform the rituals alongside the chief minister.

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In normal times, lakhs of warkaris from Maharashtra and other states used to throng the temple in Pandharpur on 'Ashadhi Ekadashi'.

However, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government cancelled this year's annual wari pilgrimage, which is characterised by people walking from far with palanquins to Pandharpur.

Curfew is in force in Pandharpur since Tuesday to prevent any gathering of people in the temple town, located around 350 km from Mumbai. PTI SPK GK GK 07010905 NNNNto put the health of the game's fans at risk.

"They must first monitor the health and safety of the players and officials who will be involved in the thick of the on-field action."

The AMA highlighted the slow return of sport in Europe without crowds and praised the leaders of Australian rules for their cautious approach tied to expert medical advice.

Stringent controls and early border closures have contributed to Australia having only 102 known deaths from COVID-19 and just over 7,100 reported cases.

The federal government has announced a three-phase plan to ease restrictions in the coming months, with the states and territories to determine their own timings. But social distancing and hygiene measures will be retained indefinitely. (AP)

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