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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amid massive protests against the Puri heritage corridor project and denial of permission by the district administration for the proposed Padyatra, Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi Wednesday visited the holy town along with people across party lines opposed to illegal construction work around Srimandir.

However, she was obstructed near Patapola at Chandanpur by the district admission following which Sarangi decided to have darshan of the Trinity by walking on foot.

“Permission was not sought for ‘Padyatra’’. No permission is required for darshan of Mahaprabhu Jagannath. If the Odisha government is on right path, why is it so afraid?” said Sarangi.

“I've only spoken about security of Srimandir and whatever I have to say I have spoken it at the Parliament. This is not a party programme and workers of all parties have assembled spontaneously,” said Sarangi adding that he has full respect for the administrative officials.

“I myself was an administrator and I have full respect for the administrative officials. No untoward incident will happen under proper law and order. The administration has nothing to be afraid of. Let me be allowed to have darshan of Lord Jagannath by walking on foot,” said the BJP leader.

Meanwhile, the saffron party leader slammed Odisha government for the unlawful digging activities around Srimandir without taking permission from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

“The administration has dug 30-ft holes around the temple wall. Nobody has any clue about the proposed construction activities and the purpose behind digging the wall which is posing as a threat to the 12th century shrine. Even Puri MP Pinaki Mishra is in dark about the proposed renovation,” alleged Sarangi.

“When the MP of Puri has no clue about the construction work, how the common people of Odisha will know about it. All the Odia have the right and responsibility for the safety and security of Srimandir and the government is answerable to them,” said Sarangi.

The senior BJP leader also put a question mark on transparency of the state government.

"Where is T & transparency? Why has the house committee not come for an inspection? Is construction work being carried out with ASI approval? Who gave permission for digging in restricted zone?" she asked.

Notably, the Srimandir Banchao Abhiyan on Tuesday called off the proposed padyatra called by it in protest against heritage corridor project in Puri on Wednesday as the District Collector did not grant permission for it. Sarangi was scheduled to participate in the padyatra. 

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