Odisha minister in soup for calling himself ‘God’

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi has drawn flak after a video purportedly showing himself claiming to be ‘God’ and his party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as ‘Lord Jagannath’ went viral.

According to agency sources, on Friday, around 50 servitors of Haribaldev Jew Temple in Baripada took out a padayatra from Baripada to Bhubanesewar to meet CM Naveen and apprise him about various issues plaguing the ancient shrine.

However, the padayatra was reportedly called off. According to agency sources (ANI), later that day, Marandi, while commenting over the padayatra during a meeting, said that the servitors should have met him first before trying to meet the CM since he is their elected leader. The minister then compared himself with God and also equated CM Naveen with Lord Jagannath.

Soon after the incident, Marndi’s remarks which offended the servitors of the temple became viral on social media sparking severe criticisms from all sections of society.

Registering strong protests against Marandi’s statement, servitors of Haribaldev Jew Temple have said that the legislator will have to suffer divine punishment for his arrogance.

Local MLA Prakash Soren too hit out against the Odisha minister over his comments.

“This is not right. A person cannot be a god. People are very poor here. They do not even get basic medical facilities. How can he call himself God? He has become arrogant,” Soren was quoted as speaking to ANI.

Meanwhile, comments on the issue could not be obtained from Marndi.