The Kendrapara district unit of BJP on Friday requested Odisha government and the Centre to take necessary steps to allow the conduct of the upcoming Rath Yatra dedicated to the Siddha Baladevjew in Kendrapara in the lines of the organisation of the festival at Puri Srimandir.
A team of the Kendrapara BJP staged a protest in front of the office of the district collector and before the temple seeking fulfillment of their demands. The party workers and leaders also demonstrated in front of the offices of all the Tehsildars.
Odisha government has already canceled the Rath Yatra celebrations outside the temple premises with the participation of the public in any way across Odisha except in Puri.
The much-awaited festival which marks the nine-day sojourn of the three deities of Lord Jagannath and his siblings will begin from July 12 in only Puri under the strict compliance of Covid protocols as laid out by the Supreme Court last year when the event was also organized in a subdued manner due to the pandemic.
The BJP has alleged that despite repeated pleas, the government is yet to take any call on the conduct of the Rath Yatra of Siddha Baladevjew in Kendrapara. Due to the prevailing uncertainty, the construction of the chariots has also been kept on hold.
Meanwhile, the National Vice President of the BJP Jay Panda has also demanded that the government should take all necessary steps in this regard at the earliest. Panda stressed how there are a lot of similarities in the rituals, religious practices between the shrine of Siddha Baladevjew and Puri Jagannath Temple since time immemorial.
The car festival of Siddha Baladevjew is unique and is quite old just like the Puri Rath Yatra. This apart, lakhs of people especially residents of Kendrapara have deep religious sentiments attached with the festival, said Panda.
The development comes just a day after hundreds of people belonging to various social and cultural organisations took out a rally in Baripada town demanding permission for conduct of Ratha Yatra at Haribaldev Jew temple in Baripada, also known as Dwitiya Sreekhetra, the second most important shrine of Lord Jagannath after Puri.