Himansu Shekhar Rout

After a brief gap, the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) launched a scathing attack on the state government over the collection of rice and donations from devotees through Arpan Raths which were moved in villages ahead of the inauguration of the Puri Srimandir Parikrama project. The BJP sought to know what happened to the money collected from the devotees.  

Addressing a press meeting in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, BJP’s state unit president, Manmohan Samal pointed out that the Gajapati Maharaj has already confirmed that Arpan Rath was not the decision of the Srimandir Management Committee. “Hence, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is only involved in misdeeds like launching the Arpan Rath programme and collecting rice and money from people,” Samal said.

The BJP veteran further alleged that the BJD workers used rice collected from devotees for feasts at some places. 
“When there was an outrage over the issue, the BJD workers sent the parboiled rice (usuna) to Srimandir. Suar and Mahasuar Nijogs were irked after parboiled rice was sent to the temple. Such an act by the BJD workers is a criminal offence,” the BJP leader said.

“Money was collected from devotees. Where is the collected money? One day, the temple management committee said that Rs 50,000 had been deposited. There were no receipts against the money collection or details of its accounts. After Rs 50,000, no amount was deposited further. Where is the remaining amount?” Samal asked, adding that the BJP condemns such an act.    

He demanded that those involved in such a criminal offence should be booked under the IPC.

However, no reaction was received from the BJD.

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