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Rasagola row: Odisha set to file application for GI tag

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today finally confirmed that it will file an application seeking Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Rasagola, a sweet that has been at the centre of a nearly two-and-a-half-year-old controversy with neighbouring state West Bengal.

“Our Rasagolla is a unique entity and has a history and tradition of its own. It is associated with the tradition of Lord Jagannath and is being served during rituals of the holy trinity since last 800 years. So we have decided to file a separate application demanding GI tag for Odisha’s Rasagola,” Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary LN Gupta said after a high-level meeting.

On the other hand, the delay in Odisha’s attempt to seek the GI tag for the sweet has been severely criticized by the Opposition party.

Congress leader and Opposition party Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said “It has been two years since Odisha waged a battle against West Bengal for earning the tag but now Bengali brothers have achieved the tag while our state government is still in slumber.”

On the other hand, Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda said that there should be a ‘test of taste’ of the sweet delicacy from both Odisha and West Bengal as there is not one but many varieties of Rasagola found at several places like Pahala, Salipur in Odisha itself with centuries old tradition behind each of them.

Panda in a tweet said, “The GI tag is only for the spongy, usually canned, variety? We should arrange a head-to-head tasting against the succulent, brown, nuclear-attack-on-the-taste-buds varieties from Salipur, Pahalo & dozens of other places in Odisha with centuries’ longer tradition.”

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