Shifting of statue: Cong team visits spot

Puri: Politics has picked up momentum in the holy town yet again, this time over shifting of a bust of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das with a view decongest traffic at the point. Opposition Congress and a few social organizations have resented the relocation of the statue of the iconic freedom fighter.

A five-member fact-finding team of Congress today visited the spot to take stock of the matter. The team led by senior party leader Chandrasekhar Sahu went to the spot near Jagannath temple from where Das’ bust was removed with the help of a crane on Saturday.

Yesterday, vehemently criticising the ruling BJD government for shifting the bust, State Congress president Prasad Harichandan had said that the government has no respect for those who have sacrificed their lives for the State.

“When the whole State pays obeisance to its own sons of the soil and other freedom fighters, how can the State government behave like this?” he asked. “Chief minister Naveen Patnaik is responsible for the whole episode,” he stated.

Addressing the media in Bhubaneswar, Harichandan had said, “Mahatma Gandhi had installed the statue while launching his campaign for the rights of lower caste people from Puri. It is a symbol of our State’s legacy of being home to illustrious freedom fighters. The district administration has no right to demolish the memorial.”