Vikash Sharma

Political atmosphere in Odisha has charged up after the state government constituted a new committee to supervise the inventory of valuables of Lord Jagannath and His siblings stored in Puri temple’s Ratna Bhandar by dissolving the Justice Arijit Pasayat-led panel set up by the previous BJD government.

Senior BJD leader and Opposition chief whip Pramila Mallick said this has been done with an ulterior motive.

“People of Odisha know the government’s intention.  Had their intention been right, they would not have replaced the committee led by retired Supreme Court judge Arijit Pasayat,” said Mallick.

Odisha Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan was quick to respond to the BJD leader’s remarks. He said that the people of Odisha know whose intention is what. 

“The government which could not do this in 24 years, a government of 24 days decided to reopen the Ratna Bhandar. Necessary steps have already been taken. The Committee will hold a crucial meeting on July 6, modalities will be fixed and the date for the opening of Ratna Bhandar will be fixed,” said Harichandan.

According to Harichandan, the Ratna Bhandar will be opened and the inventory of valuables be done.  

“Whatever repair work is required, it will be taken up by the ASI as it is being anticipated that there are cracks. The government decided what it felt was right. We realised that the Committee would do its work properly and hence a fresh Committee was constituted. No Committee has been dissolved as it has been replaced,” said Harichandan.

Harichandan further said there was not much progress was achieved as far as the old Committee was concerned and I don’t blame the panel rather the previous government lacked intent for which they could not do.

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