Cassian Baliarsingh

Senior BJD leader and Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of Odisha, Pratap Keshari Deb, landed himself in a soup after comparing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Lord Jagannath.

“There was a time when people knew Odisha because of Lord Jagannath. But, now, if you say that you come from Odisha, people will immediately react it as the land of CM Naveen Odisha,” the BJD minister said during his speech while attending BJD’s two-day workshop in Bhubaneswar.

“The Lord Jagannath was the only identity of 4.5 crore people of Odisha. But, now if you take the name of Odisha in any part of India, people will soon identity it with CM Naveen Patnaik not Lord Jagannath anymore,” the minister added.

The BJD minister’s remarks have offended millions of devotees and not gone well with the Opposition. Angry Odias expressed outrage over such frivolous remarks while the Opposition slammed him for making such statements against the Lord.

The party that came to power using Lord Jagannath’s name and calling CM, the ‘bhakt’, has now been filled with pride and arrogance to make such statements, a leader in the Opposition said.

Slamming the BJD minister, BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said, “The BJD has crossed all limits of pride and arrogance. They have started seeing their party leaders as the alternative to Lord Shri Jagannath. I have not seen such a low-life in my life and this is an insult to all the people of Odisha.”

Back in 2019, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marandi had called himself “God” and equated CM Naveen Patnaik with Lord Jagannath.

Notably, Naveen Patnaik is a self-proclaimed Lord Jagannath devotee and usually visits Jagannath Temple in Puri on the eve of New Year, every year. He also visits Puri during Rath Yatra.