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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Odisha: Puri Shreemandira Heritage Corridor opening a BJD affair, claims Opposition

In a political twist, the leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader Jaya Narayan Mishra wrote a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik urging him to declare January 22 a public holiday in the state so that all devotees of Lord Ram from Odisha can take part in the inaugural function at Ayodhya

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 17.01.24, 08:33 AM
Artists at work for the opening.

Artists at work for the opening. Sarat Kumar Patra

The BJP and the Congress in Odisha have planned to distance themselves from the inauguration of the Puri Shreemandira Heritage Corridor (Shreemandira Parikrama Prakalpa) project with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) set to encash the religious fervour generated by it.

The BJP, which is spearheading a movement to invite people for the inaugural function of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya on January 22, termed the inaugural function of the Shree Jagannath Temple as a party affair of the BJD. “We will not attend the inaugural function of the Shreemandira Parikrama Prakalap on Wednesday?,” said BJP state unit vice-president Golak Mohapatra.

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In a political twist, the leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly and senior BJP leader Jaya Narayan Mishra on Tuesday wrote a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik urging him to declare January 22 a public holiday in the state so that all devotees of Lord Ram from Odisha can take part in the inaugural function at Ayodhya.

"We will not attend the inaugural function of the Shreemandira Parikrama Prakalap on Wednesday. There is nothing new in it. Only a few toilets and other infrastructure have been developed. Even then the inauguration looks like a BJD function from the hype surrounding it,” said BJP state unit vice-president Golak Mohapatra.

Earlier, the Odisha government had declared January 17 a public holiday for the inauguration of the project.

The Congress has also distanced itself from the inaugural function, accusing the BJD government of playing with the sentiments of Odias.

However, despite all these political accusations, lakhs of people are expected to assemble at Puri to witness the inauguration. Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Dibyasingha Deb maintained that no such development has occurred during the last 700 years around the Puri Shree Jagannath Temple. The servitors of the Puri Temple have also expressed their joy seeing the massive development around the temple. "It was a much-needed work. As the number of devotees is increasing day by day, we need to revamp the infrastructure," said senior servitor Ramakrushna Das Mohapatra.

Naveen has appealed to people to celebrate the inaugural day. "All should participate in this festivity by lighting diyas (lamps), blowing conch shells, beating cymbals, offering prayers, reciting devotional hymns and doing Kirtans at temple or own homes on the day," he said.

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