Vikash Sharma

After striking a major controversy in Odisha following her visit to Puri Jagannath temple along with 5T chairman VK Pandian, social media influencer Kamiya Jani tried to calm down things by issuing a clarification on Instagram.

The clarification comes after political parties and several religious outfits staged demonstration and trained guns on Odisha government by raising questions on the social media influencer’s visit to the sacred temple alleging that she was a promoter of beef.

While the Congress on Saturday demanded a clarification from the Chief Minister, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that violation of sanctity in Puri Srimandir was extremely disturbing.

Apart from this, allowing a beef promoter inside the iconic Jagannath temple by VK Pandian is a disregard for religion, history and spirituality. Immediate and serious action is necessary for those responsible for this, wrote Singh on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle.

In her clarification shared on social media platform, Jani said, “My intention behind Puri Jagannath temple visit was to seek blessings of Lord Jagannath and share information about infrastructural development with people. But unfortunately one of my visits has become controversial. I understand that the temple authorities have some rules and want to clarify that I have not broken any rule.”

In the video, Jani went on to say, “I am a practising Hindu and have never consumed or promoted beef. As a food blogger, I have informed people about local cuisines and that’s what happened in Kerala video whose screenshots were used.”

Further clearing air, the social media influencer stated, “I think there could be some misunderstanding and this clarification is to end such misunderstandings.”

However, Jani’s clarification has not gone well with the Odisha BJP as the party MLA Suryavanshi Suraj today compared the BJD-led state government’s mentality with that of the ‘Kalapahad’.

People of the state will not forgive for politics over Lord Jagannath and Mahaprasad, he said. “There was beef on Kamiya Jani’s table. It is not an issue whether she consumed it or not. She is promoting beef and how such a person, who promotes and encourages eating beef, was allowed into the temple,” questioned Suraj.

Suraj further said, “We are saying on the basis of the video. And, was it not necessary for the person (VK Pandian), who took her to the temple to do a background check?”

Targeting the state government, BJP's Lekhashree Samantasinghar said, “Protecting such religious places is the responsibility of every Odia. We cannot leave the safety of our temples to non-Odias. The state government is under the control of some vested interests while a game is being played with our religion under the pretext of temple transformation under 5T.”

Congress leader Nishikant Mishra observed that "Lord Jagannath himself is the leader of Odisha, and there is no need for publicity of Srimandir and Lord Jagannath. BJD is doing a hoax in the name of protecting temples. The BJD government should apologise for destroying Utkal’s tradition and the Jagannath culture.”

However, BJD leader Sudhir Samal said, "When Kamiya Jani was made the brand ambassador of Ayodhya, Hindutwa was not hurt that time. When she visits our Jagannath temple, Hindutwa is hurt! What they (BJP and Congress) are doing is sheer politics over the issue.”