Bhubaneswar: Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb today disapproved of Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout’s claim that Jayee Rajguru was not a freedom fighter.
The Gajapati reiterated his earlier statement and said, "Paika Bidroha was launched under the leadership of Jayee Rajguru in 1804. It was taken forward by Buxi Jagabandhu and spread further. Therefore, the initial flag bearer of the Paika Bidroha is Jayee Rajguru and it started in 1804, not in 1817."
In response, Rout said Gajapati is the first servitor of Lord Jagannath and challenging his statement is not right. However, he asked a few questions to the Gajapati.
"It will be nice if Gajapati Maharaj conducts a research on why did the Britishers, who had made Calcutta their Capital in 1603, take 200 years to come to Odisha and if they came, how did they arrive," said Rout.
Earlier on November 24, Rout had stated that 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 rebellion. Jayee Rajguru fought with Britishers as the latter went back on their promise to give him two Parganas, he had added.