Devbrat Patnaik

Puri: The Puri district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today kicked off a signature campaign in the pilgrim town in connection with the alleged illegal plotting and sale of Bagala Dharmashala land.

The campaign was launched in each of the 32 wards in Puri and would be conducted aggressively on roads too. Following the signature campaign, the party members as decided will take out a padyatra from Puri Srimandir to Naveen Niwas (residence of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik) in Bhubaneswar on Gandhi Jayanti, the 2nd of October, to demand scrapping of the sale deeds of the Dharmashala land.

"Despite staging a sit-in for over 27 days, the administration did not come to us for a discussion as they are adamant on selling the land to hoteliers. So we have launched a signature campaign in all wards and panchayats so that the voices of people is heard. After this we will meet CM Naveen and submit all the documents in this regard. The government should consider the request of Puri residents and stop acting at the behest of non-Odia officers or else the pilgrim city will be completely ruined," said BJP leader Prabhanjan Mohapatra.

The BJP has also urged everyone to sign an e-petition and support the party's movement to protect the Jagannath Puri Bagala Dharamshala. "Protest against the State government land mafia and join hands with BJP to protect the historic Bagala Dharmashala which is a sign of Jagannath Culture and faith of lakhs of devotees," BJP leaders said during launch of the online petition.

While the saffron party leaders have been staging dharna for over 27 days now, allegedly no steps have been taken by district administration or the government to resolve the issue 'which is unfortunate' they said. Therefore, the leaders have threatened to continue with the protest till the Odisha government stops illegal sale of Bagala Dharmashala.