Odisha ritual row: BJP questions Naveen Patnaik's silence, ready to hit streets

Bhubaneswar, Jun 25: Questioning Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's silence over mismanagement in Lord Jagannath's Nabakalebara festival, the BJP today announced a week-long agitation from June 30 and sought a judicial probe into the matter.

BJP state President K V Singhdeo said that party workers and supporters would hold meetings, run an awareness campaign among people and stage agitations demanding action against the persons responsible for the mismanagement in the temple.

"There have been irregularities right from Daru (neem tree) selection to Brahma Paribartan (transfer of life substance from old idols to new idols) rituals. When there is a statewide hue and cry over delay in Brahma Paribartan, the chief minister is silent," senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said.

Demanding removal of Suresh Mohapatra from the post of the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, the BJP leader also raised question on the ongoing inquiry by the administration.

Also read: Congress calls Odisha bandh on June 26

"How can an accused conduct inquiry?" he asked adding that section 30 of Shri Jagannth Temple Act, 1954 gives power to the state government to take action against erring persons.

But no such action has been taken barring two Daitapati priests, he said. The BJP leader also accused Law Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo of showing soft attitude towards the Daitapati priests.

"A judicial probe can only find out the role of the chief minister, ministers and other influential people responsible for the temple mismanagement," Mohapatra said.

The BJP leader, however, did not answer to a question on the party's role during the proposed Odisha Bandh tomorrow called by the Congress.


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