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Vikash Sharma

Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the Srimandir Parikrama project, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday met Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalalanda Saraswati in the holy town.

After meeting the Puri sheer, Subramanian Swamy said, “I am aware of the controversies surrounding the project. The temples were the hub of knowledge and innovation and Kings used to frequently pay visits to the places. It is everybody’s duty to protect our temples.”

Remembering his bonds with former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik, Swamy said, “Biju Patnaik was a close friend and I have good relations with his son and present Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. I will discuss with Naveen and ask him his views on Heritage Corridor Project. There is a need to end the controversy.”

Swamy said temples should be free from government control. But as per our constitution, government can intervene if there are some irregularities.

“I have always been saying that religious institutions should be protected and the state government/ administration should assist in functioning and they should not take control,” said Puri Shankaracharya.

According to Shanaracharya, “The State government should take concrete steps. Had the government been concerned about the protection of the mutts, it should not have been demolished.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the Puri Shankaracharya recently came down heavily on the Odisha government over the project. Launching a veiled attack on the State government, the sheer said it has been quite natural of the government to convert a 'tapobhumi' into 'bhogbhumi'.

Puri Shankaracharya’s comments came after the administration carried out Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey in the dead of the night.

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