Mrunal Manmay Dash

Former Chief Minister of Odisha and BRS leader Giridhar Gamang was seen playing the tribal musical instrument ‘dhapa’ at Khilapadar village under Rayagada’s Padmapur block on Friday.

While he played the dhapa, his wife, Hema Gamang was seen dancing to the tunes with other tribals.

The Gamang couple played music and danced while attending ‘Karaj’, a tribal festival native to Rayagada and Koraput that is observed to pay obeisance to their ancestors.

Speaking to the reporters, Hema Gamang said, “We are observing this today after a gap of 25 years. We invoke our ancestors (Pitru Purusha) through this ritual for the wholesome development of our society.”

“We entertain guests during this time. People visit their relatives and seek blessings of their ancestors. Though this is observed every 10 years, this time around, we are observing this after 25 years. And it will continue for two days more,” Giridhar Gamang said.

Giridhar Gamang was first elected to the 5th Lok Sabha from Koraput in 1972. Subsequently, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1977, 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2004.

He was the Chief Minister of Odisha from February 17, 1999 to December 6, 1999, during which Odisha witnessed the deadliest Cyclone in modern history that killed more than 15,000 people in Odisha.

(Reported By Indrajit Panda, OTV)