Bhubaneswar: Putting an end to the uproar over reports regarding alleged misconduct with President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind, the First Lady of India, during their visit to Sri Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri, Ashok Malik, Press Secretary to the President, has rebutted such reports.
He also rubbished the claims of a letter being sent by the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the temple administration expressing displeasure over the behaviour of some servitors.
Speaking to a team of ‘India Today’, Malik said that no such letter has been sent and all the reports are mere speculations.
However, the official said some servitors tried to breach security protocols in order to come closer to the president but were stopped.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Pradipta Mohapatra had earlier said the same over the matter. “No communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan regarding misbehaviour towards the President and his wife has been received. This matter should end here,” Mohapatra had said speaking to reporters.
Notably, some media reports surfaced recently citing a minute of the temple managing committee meeting in which it was mentioned that during the visit of the first citizen of the nation and his wife to the temple on March 18, some servitors allegedly shoved the two breaching the security protocol while both were having darshan of the deities.
This apart, a Khuntia Mekap servitor allegedly did not make room for the President while he was offering prayers in the sanctum sanctorum.
Suar Mahasuar Nijog president Damodar Mahasuar has lodged a complaint at Singhadwara police station against Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal and former SJTA chief Pradeep Jena accusing the two of trying to defame servitors of the temple.