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Niranjan demands reforms in Jagannath Temple activities

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 25:

In the wake of the raging controversy over mismanagement of the Nabakalebara rituals, former Odisha PCC President Niranjan Patnaik today demanded comprehensive reforms of all activities pertaining to the Jagannath temple in Puri.

Niranjan Patnaik, Former PCC president
Niranjan Patnaik, Former PCC president

“The failure to properly manage the sacred and unique event of ‘Bramha Paribartana’ during the Nabakalebara has, while deeply hurting the religious sentiments of Odias, lowered the prestige of the state and her people. For a long time, pilgrims had been complaining of harassment and had been demanding better amenities and smooth management of the temple affairs at par with other religious centers in India like the Tirupati temple. Besides forming committees from time-to-time to visit other religious centers, the Government has shown little resolve to find a lasting solution to the perennial allegations of harassment of the devotees,” said Patnaik.

Supporting the views expressed by the Puri Gajapati, the former PCC Chief said that the recent events should be more than a wake up call. Any further negligence and mismanagement will only end up embarrassing Odias further.

Patnaik suggested formation of an all-party committee under the Gajapati King of Puri, legal luminaries and former civil servants as members that would promulgate a new temple act along with comprehensive reforms of all activities and substantial upgradation of the physical infrastructure of the temple within a year.

In a press release, the senior Congress leader also criticized the Chief Minister for his incompetence.

“Despite political success, Naveen Babu has proven to be a thoroughly incompetent administrator, who relies on bureaucrats out of helplessness rather than any sense of propriety. On top of it, the ruling party has politicized the environment by patronizing some servitors creating internal disputes and has shown disrespect to the Shankaracharya,” he added.

With the Brahma Parivartan mess having developed into a full-blown political crisis, the former minister asked all sections of Odia society to rise above petty squabbles to ensure that the prestige of Odisha is not lowered any further while adding that Odisha Congress will support any initiative for reforms from the State Government.