Himansu Shekhar Rout

Opposition parties have smelt political agenda of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the government’s move to spend crores of rupees in the publicity and promotion of the grand inauguration of Srimandir Parikrama Project. Many political observers questioned if the BJD was trying to carry out the publicity and promotion of the Srimandir Parikrama Project in a bid to counter the BJP’s Ram Mandir inauguration. 

All programmes and events will be done under ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’, while the government has allocated an additional Rs 214 crore for the scheme. Rs 135.88 crore will be spent for the publicity of the project while another Rs 20 crore will be utilized to ferry people from each panchayat to Puri for the inauguration ceremony. 

The state government which is in a cleft-stick over the Ratna Bhandar and the Kamiya Jani controversies has taken this publicity stunt to divert the public attention, the Opposition alleged.

General Secretary of the Odisha BJP, Jatin Mohanty slammed the state government, saying that the BJD government has been trying to hurt the sentiments of Jagannath devotees and fouling the Jagannath culture.

“While the Jagannath culture is being deteriorated, why is the government busy in the publicity of the project? The government is trying to defile the sanctity of the Jagannath temple by inviting people like Kamiya Jani. It is condemnable to utilise the huge amounts of the tax of common people for publicity of the Srimandir Parikrma Project and the Jagannath culture. The BJD leaders are deeming Lord Jagannath as a commodity without having an understanding about the Lord,” he observed, alleging that new ‘Gala Madhabs’( blatant liars) are trying to change the history of the Jagannath temple.

Also Read: Srimandir Parikrama Project: Congress sees red over Odisha govt's decision to spend more for promotional activities

Pradesh Congress Committee president Sarat Pattnayak said, “The BJD government which never thought of the Jagannath temple's development in its 24-year rule, has suddenly adopted a new gimmick to divert the public attention from the controversies like the opening of the Ratna Bhandar, four gates of the Jagannath temple and entry of Kamiya Jani.

However, BJD leader Umakant Samantray countered the allegations by opposition parties, saying that the opposition parties have always opposed the development of Srimandir. They never want the development of Odisha. They go to the High Court and Supreme Court to put hurdles in the development, he added.

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