Lucknow, Aug 10 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav here on Wednesday flagged off the first batch of Haj pilgrims from the state.
Speaking on the occasion at the Maulana Ali Mian Haj House, Yadav urged the pilgrims to pray for the prosperity of their families, society and the country.
He said he desired that the Haj Houses located at Lucknow and Ghaziabad be used for preparation of national- and state-level competitive exams.
Greeting the Haj pilgrims, Muslim religious leaders Maulana Sayyed Rabey Hasani Nadvi and Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli prayed for the success of their pilgrimage.
This year, 22,297 pilgrims have been provisionally shortlisted by the Haj Committee of India for the Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, including 8,750 pilgrims who will leave from New Delhi, 9,744 from Lucknow and 3,803 from Varanasi.
All the Haj pilgrims have already got their visas and passports, Minority Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan said.