Mrunal Manmay Dash

As the controversy around Lingaraj Temple Ordinance -2020 gathers steam, Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said that the letter written by the Chief Secretary to the Centre clarifying on the Ordinance is completely legal and in State’s interest.

Speaking to reporters, Panda said, “The letter from the Chief Secretary serves its purpose. There is an unnecessary controversy created by the BJP and the Centre has been cleared with all the doubts by the CS.”

Targeting Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi, Panda said, “She represents Bhubaneswar in Delhi. Why did not she come to meet the Union Minister to discuss the Ordinance when called upon by BJD MPs?”

Sarangi, however, rubbished the allegations and said, “I am determined to work towards the development of my constituency with a positive approach. I am obliged to work for my constituents each and every day.”

“I do not have any agenda here. But I will never let wrongdoing get past me unnoticed. If there is something wrong happening, I will raise my voice and bring it to the fore,” Sarangi said.

“Nobody is opposing development and beautification. But that cannot be done going against the law,” she added.

Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra on Tuesday had written to Union Home Secretary clarifying the objections pertaining to the ordinance issued by Centre on March 3, 2022 and March 20, 2022.

Earlier, the Union government had claimed that the Odisha government’s ordinance to bring the 11th-century Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar and its associated temples under a special law is outside the legislative competence of the state legislature and could lead to conflict with the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (AMASR Act) and AT ACT 1972.