Foreign hand behind proposed ISKCON temple at Puri: BJP

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra sees involvement of foreign hands behind planning for construction of an ISKCON Jagannath temple, just 2 km away from the Sri Jagannath temple in Puri.

Mohapatra told media persons, “Nobody has imagined of another Jagannath temple at Puri. If anyone is thinking of constructing another Jagannath temple, they are doing wrong and the government should immediately clarify it.”

The BJP leader added, “I think a conspiracy has been started to eliminate our culture and Jagannath dharma.”

He added, “Apart from foreign power, some of our people are involved in this.”

As per the project report prepared by ISKCO, the proposed temple would come up at 52,000 sq ft area. From Batamangala, the proposed temple, whose ground breaking ceremony was done on November 29, will be 4.5 km away whereas it would be 2.5 km distance from the Bada Danda. From the sea beach the temple is 200 metres away.

When the Law, Urban Development and Culture ministers were contacted for comments on the proposed ISKCON temple, they declined to say anything on the matter.

However, BJD spokesperson Samir Das said, “Personally this is completely unacceptable. I believe the State government would not accept such plans.”

Meanwhile, chief servitor of Jagannath at the Puri temple Jagannath Swain Mohapatra said, “This is disrespect to the deity.”

Authorities of the ISKCON could not be reached for comments.