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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Barely a week before the Nabakalebara Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath gets underway, Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati today blamed the chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration for the mismanagement in the 12th century shrine.

"I hold Shree Jagannath Temple Administration's chief administrator responsible for all the chaos in the temple. He is responsible for irregularities from the selection of Daru (neem tree) for making new idols of the Lords to the Brahma Paribartan rituals," Saraswati told a hurriedly-convened press conference here.

The Puri seer also targetted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his 'silence' on the issue.

"The chief Minister is going by the advice of some officers who do not know anything about the Jagannath culture.

Naveen's silence encourages such elements," the Puri seer alleged.

Coming down heavily on the state government for the Nabakalebara rituals mess, the seer demanded complete overhaul of the temple laws.

"Chaos prevails in the Jagannath temple and the rituals are not being followed properly. The government doesn't have the right to interfere in the religious affairs fo the temple. There is a need to overhaul the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) laws," the Shankaracharya said.

As per the judgements laid down by various courts pertaining to Puri temple, the state government should define its boundaries and the officials' appointed by it to oversee the temple affairs should not cross their limits, he said.

The Shankaracharya said that there should be a transparent approach in the appointment of the temple committee members and their roles and responsibilities should be well-defined.

"The government should act as a facilitator and nothing more," he said.

BJD spokesman Rabi Narayan Nanda said that the state government had adequate respect for Puri Shankaracharya.

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