Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In an unfortunate incident, an idol of Lord Jagannath, the revered deity of Odias, was allegedly found abandoned under a polythene sheet amid the scorching sun at Panchudola ground under Maluda area in Puri district on Sunday. The ruling BJD party is said to have conducted a meeting at the ground. Residents and devotees in the area were reportedly shocked to find the idol in such a miserable condition. 

As per reports, Biju Chhatra Janata Dal conducted an election meeting at the Panchudola ground on April 19. Brahmagiri MLA candidate Umakanta Samantaray, Puri MP candidate Arup Patnaik and many student leaders of the BJD from Krushnaprasad area took part in the meeting which commenced following the lighting of the lamp before Lord Jagannath's idol. 

Both the candidates reportedly started their poll campaign after worshipping the Lord. However, after the meeting, the organisers allegedly forgot to take care of the Lord Jagannath’s idol. The idol was abandoned and wrapped in a polythene sheet under the scorching sun. 

“It’s quite tragic and unfortunate to find the idol of the Lord wrapped with a polythene sheet abandoned. BJD’s such mentality has shocked us. They are begging for votes in the name of Lord Jagannath, and, at the same time, are insulting Him,” rued Raghunath Badu, a local resident.

“They had also insulted Lord Jagannath during the ‘Arpan Rath Parikrama’. What kind of respect they are giving to the revered deity of crores of Odias? They started the meeting by worshipping the Lord’s idol and abandoned it after the meeting. The incident is quite shocking and not acceptable at all,” he added.

However, no reactions from the organisers and BJD leaders could be obtained in this regard.