Bhubaneswar: The controversy surrounding the delay in rituals and huge wastage of ‘Mahaprasad’ in Puri’s Jagannath Temple dominated the Odisha assembly for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.
The house witnessed repeated adjournments as the opposition Congress members created a ruckus on the issue, blaming the temple administration for failing to restore normalcy in the rituals of the deities.
Unable to run the House smoothly, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat convened an all-party meeting in a bid to resolve the deadlock.
At the meeting, the Congress legislators demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik or the Law Minister should table their statements in the House.
“For two consecutive days, Lord Jagannath and his siblings are hungry. The state government is least bothered about it. That’s why assembly has been disrupted. Until ‘Bhog’ is not offered to Lord, we won’t allow the assembly to run,” Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati told media persons.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) countered that the row is concerned with the faith and beliefs of Odias and should not be politicised.
Maintaining that the temple administration should not get involved in the controversy as the rituals and related matters are under the discretion of Puri Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb and Shankaracharya Nischalanand Saraswati, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout called upon the duo to intervene in the matter.
“Any ritual irregularities are being looked into and solution process is on. Today, ‘Bhog’ has been offered and ‘Abhada’ has also been served to the devotees. Such happenings with Lord Jagannath are really unfortunate and condemnable. But it should not be politicised,” said Rout.
It is to be noted that rituals to be performed on April 16 got delayed leading to a disturbance in the temple.