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Odisha forms panel to resolve row over devotees on chariots

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 18:

Caught on a cleft stick over the issue of allowing devotees to mount the chariots during the Rath Yatra, the Odisha government today fell back on the time tested ploy to delay taking a decision on the thorny issue by forming a committee.

Chief Minister  Shri Naveen Patnaik attending an All Party meeting  2

The committee, to be headed by Puri MLA and former Law minister Maheswar Mohanty, will have Law minister Arun Sahoo, special DGP Sanjeev Marik, chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Dr Arabinda Padhee, Water Resources secretary Suresh Mohapatra and Puri MP Pinaki Mishra as the other members, Sahoo said after the all-party meeting on the issue this evening.

“The committee will arrive at a decision on the issue after consulting with all stake holders,” Sahoo said briefing news persons after the all party meeting chaired by the Speaker at his chamber this evening.

The Law minister said the meeting expressed its deep regard for the Shankaracharya of Gobardhanpeeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.

Sahoo said the meeting unanimously resolved to ensure the smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra.

Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said all members present at the meeting agreed for the smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra.

“The committee will hold discussions with all stake holders from tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier, Speaker Niranjan Pujari had said the meeting was successful and the views of all members were taken into account.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra, Law minister Arun Sahoo, Food and Civil Supplies minister Sanjay Dasburma, Government chief whip Anant Das, BJP legislator KV Singhdeo, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipatis, CPM MLA Laxman Munda and Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty were present at the meeting.