Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 21:
Stepping up the ante against the Odisha government for ignoring Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati’s recommendation to ban the practice of devotees climbing the chariots, the state BJP today demanded an unconditional apology from and resignation of Law Minister Arun Sahu, whom the party held responsible for the entire mess continuing for the last 10 days in the state.
“Law Minister Arun Sahu is entirely responsible for the entire mess continuing in the state over devotees climbing the chariots and touching the deities. The Law Minister has dishonoured the recommendation of Shankaracharya and Puri Gajapati even though there is clear instruction of the apex court that government can not interfere in religious matters. So, he should beg apology to the people of Odisha and tender his resignation,” said BJP spokesperson Sameer Mohanty in a press release.
Stating that the Odisha High Court, in its order, has clearly said that the state government should not interfere in the religious matters, he said the irresponsible statement of Law Minister has disappointed the people.
He also said that the Minister had taken the decision even without discussing the matter with the Puri Maharaj and Chhatisha Nijog (except Daitapati), which is unfortunate.
In a separate statement, senior BJP leader Subash Chouhan said the government should tender an unconditional apology to the four crore Odias for dishonouring the Puri King and Shankaracharya.