Pradeep Singh

Minutes after the Odisha government on Friday ruled out any relaxation in the guidelines issued for the conduct of Puja in mandaps/ pandals during the festive season, senior BJP leader Samir Dey said that the party will go ahead with its proposed 'Cuttack Bandh' plans on September 13 (Monday).

Dey said that the party is waiting for the outcome of the 'Shanti Committee' meeting which will be held later today. "The BJP will, however, continue with its plans to observe Cuttack Bandh on Monday," he added.

Following the government's refusal to grant relaxation in Puja guidelines, the Cuttack Mahanagar Puja Committee and Shanti Committee informed that they will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow (September 11) to decide the course of action.

Senior Congress leader and MLA from Barabati-Cuttack constituency, Mohammed Moquim said that the Odisha government should reconsider its decision respecting the religious sentiments of people. 

"There will not be Covid impact due to full-height idols. We will decide our next move after the Nagar Congress held meetings with different puja committees," he said. 

However, general secretary of Khan Nagar Puja Committee, Prafulla Sahoo said the SRC must have taken the decision after taking into consideration various probabilities. "A decision will be taken only after tomorrow's meeting and all will follow it," he said.

Earlier on Friday, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena said that the height of the Durga idol should remain less than 4 feet as per the August 9 guidelines issued by the State government and Pujas shall be conducted in indoor-like conditions only for observance of rituals without public participation, pomp and grandeur.