Odisha Govt Criticised For No Posthumous Farewell To Ex-Assembly Speaker Sarat Kar
Bhubaneswar: Former speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly and writer, Sarat Kar, who passed away on Monday here at a private hospital, was not given his due right of a State farewell posthumously.
Kar’s family, several political leaders from Cuttack and even the public have expressed their resentment over the State government’s decision in not dedicating State honours to the late leader.
“It is disgraceful that such a prominent figure of Odisha’s political and literary history has not been given his due last rights,” stated Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President (OPCC) Niranjan Pattanaik.
Niranjan has written a letter to CM Naveen Patnaik apprising him about the incident and sought his intervention in finding out the exact reason behind the denial of honours to Kar.
Questioning whether it was his decision or taken by some government official, the Congress chief has also requested the CM to take necessary action in this regard.
Kar’s family has said that he was an ardent devotee of Lord Jagannath, but despite that, they were not allowed to conduct his last rites at Puri’s Swargadwar.
His wife, Anima Kar, has also expressed her grief over the issue and has appealed to the government to take the matter into consideration.
Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena responded towards the allegations regarding not paying the guard of honour by the government to former Assembly Speaker Sarat Kar.
Jena said that the State Honours could not be provided due to the timing of the funeral which was to occur in the evening hours.
He added that, despite wishes of Kar’s family members, the activities were carried on respecting the necessary guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was also the reason why the members of the legislation were not allowed to take part.
Minister of State, Ashok Panda, however was sent as the Government representative by CM Naveen Patnaik to pay the last respects.
Jena criticised OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik for blowing the issue out of proportion.