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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout, who was in the eye of a storm for his derogatory ‘Anganwadi’ remarks recently, has once against courted controversy by saying that Jayee Rajguru was not a freedom fighter.

While addressing the Khurda Lok Mahotsav last evening, Rout said Paika Bidroha, the first war of independence against the British Raj, took place in 1817 instead of 1804 and Buxi Jagabandhu, not Jayee Rajguru, was the initial flag bearer of the battle.

The BJD leader said Rajguru fought with Britishers as the latter went back on their promise to give him two Parganas.

“The Britishers had promised Rajguru to give him two Parganas. But since they did not keep their word after possessing the province of Odisha, Rajguru fought with Britishers in 1804. But the British had suppressed him. The battle fought by Buxi Jagabandhu in 1817 was the actual fight against the Britishers,” the Minister said.

Rout further stated that during his tenure as Culture Minister, he had formed a committee headed by eminent historian BC Roy to write the history of the freedom struggle of Odisha. The committee had mentioned that Jayee Rajguru fought with the Britishers as they went back on their promise to give him two paraganas, he added.

Recently, Puri Gajapati Maharaj had stated that the Paika Bidroha against the British Raj was launched under the leadership of Jayee Rajguru in 1804 instead of 1817 and Buxi Jagabandhu had later taken it forward.

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