Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 21:
While politicking is high over the inordinate delay and alleged mismanagement of the Brahma Parivartan ritual of the presiding deities of Shree Jagannath temple in Odisha’s holy town Puri, Excise Minister Damodar Rout, who is never short of words on any issue, today joined ranks with the Opposition and quoted the Kalapahad incident from history and demanded punishment for the wrongdoer.
Senior BJD leader’s statement, the BJP and Congress have predictably pounced on the Cooperation minister’s statement and aimed potshots at the state government.
“Kalapahad had taken away the Shree Bigrahas (idols of the Lords) on elephant back, but had not got the opportunity to see Brahma. But today we are dissecting it in the open. We should all feel ashamed irrespective of politics, party and government and see to it that it’s not repeated while the sinners who have done it are punished,” said Rout in a voice charged with emotion.
After Rout’s comment, the Congress has compared the state government with Kalapahad, the notorious anti-Hindu bigot who vandalised religious places and sought to take the idols of the deities away from their abode.
The state BJP president too has targeted the state government for the mess.
“There is a saying in Odia that a monkey tells the truth at the time of his death. Perhaps the honourable minister is seeing Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the form of Kalapahad. The Chief Minister has lost his moral right to remain in the Chief Minister’s chair for a day even. He should resign immediately,” said Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra in his reactions on Rout’s comments.
“The government is always accountable. It has to take both bouquets and brickbats. Bouquets for all good things done and brickbats for all wrongdoings. But this government doesn’t have the guts to come out in the open and admit its mistakes before the people,” said K V Singhdeo state president BJP.
The BJD, on the other hand, has said that Rout’s statement was his personal opinion and there should not be more politics on the incident.
“It may be Dama babu’s personal opinion. Instead of further discussing, analyzing and criticizing it, we should leave it to the Lord. Those who have committed wrong will certainly get punishment,” said Pratap Jena, spokesperson BJD reacting on Rout’s comments.