Bhubaneswar, Aug 27: The ruling BJD members on Thursday raised in the assembly the issue of West Bengal taking steps to formally stake claim to the sweet "rasogolla" as their invention, dubbing the move as an attempt to hijack the heritage of Odisha.
Rasogolla, the delicious, syrupy sweet, has unleashed a war of words between the two states with both initiating steps to obtain geographical indication (GI) for it.
"It is a blatant attempt to hijack the heritage of Odisha. When it is well known that rasogolla is being offered to Lord Jagannath since ages, how could the Bengal government claim that the sweet is their creation," senior BJD MLA and former minister Ranendra Pratap Swain (Raja Swain) said, raising the issue during Zero Hour.
He said as per a 300-year-old tradition and recorded evidence, the special sweet is offered by Lord Jagannath to Devi Lakshmi on the auspicious occasion of Niladri Bije.
Swain urged the government to take steps to obtain the GI tag as the neighbouring state has initiated the process to approach the Centre for GI authentication.
His argument was supported by another BJD MLA Priyadarshi Mishra.
Mishra said Odisha observes Rasogolla Day every year, a day before Lord Jagannath's Bahuda Jatra (return car festival).
Meanwhile, the state ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises is busy gathering documents to prove its point for obtaining GI status for the exquisite "Pahala Rasogolla". Pahala is located between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The rasogolla produced in Pahala is brownish in colour due to hard baking compared to the white ones prevalent in Kolkata.
Geographical indication identifies a product as originating from a particular location and conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness that is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin.