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Sculptor seeks cooperation of Centre, Odisha for new temple

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Bhubaneswar: Eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, on Sunday sought the cooperation of the central and Odisha governments for his dream project of constructing a second Konark temple in the state.

“The construction of the second Konark Temple in Odisha is my dream. That apart, I have no other aspiration. I wish to build the second Sun Temple and dedicate it to the country,” said the Padma Vibhushan awardee.

Dedicated to sun god Surya, the Konark temple is located in Puri district. However, much of the temple is now in ruins.

The Rajya Sabha MP said that he had bought a 100-acre land from his own money for the temple and will seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s help for the new temple.

Mohapatra is also a winner of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who met Mohapatra and congratulated him on his nomination by the President of India to the upper house of Parliament, extended his support to the temple project.

“He plans to construct another Konark temple and we Odias have high regards for him and his achievements. His presence in Delhi will surely represent Odisha’s culture and people,” said Pradhan.

The President on Saturday also nominated Odissi danseuse Sonal Mansingh, farmers’ leader Ram Shakal and author-columnist Rakesh Sinha to the Rajya Sabha. (IANS)