Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 21:
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik is thoroughly perturbed at the statewide uproar over the gross deviation in the Brahma Parivartan of the deities inside Shri Jagannath temple in Puri on June 16.
Reliable sources said the chief minister, on whom the pressure is mounting for the removal of Law minister Arun Sahu and the chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra from their duty with immediate effect, has sought opinion from senior BJD leaders and ministers in this regard.
As per available information, the party leaders have told the chief minister that the only way to escape from the outrage of the people of the state following the gross deviation in the rituals of the deities, there is a need for immediate removal of the Puri collector and SJTA chief administrator from their duty as the duo is responsible for the entire mess.
On the other hand, the IAS lobby in the state has expressed its resentment over the issue of removal of SJTA chief administrator from his duty since he alone cannot be blamed for the gross deviation in the rituals.
“The removal of Mohpatra would send a wrong message which will have a demoralising effect among the IAS officers”, it said while suggesting that if the government is keen on relieving Mohapatra from the duty, it should also remove the Law minister from his post.
While the chief minister is in a fix over the reaction of the IAS lobby, the attitude of the Law minister before the media yesterday has surprised one and all.
The Law minister, who appeared before the media five days after the unforeseen incident in the Shri Jagannath temple, did his best to avoid the mediapersons without uttering a single word. The minister, instead of expressing regret over the incident, asked the media to leave him.
The behaviour of the minister has angered the chief minister who watched the entire proceedings in the TV.
The Puri Gajapati Maharaja Divyasingh Dev, who had expressed grave concern over the incident, today told the media that the state government should withdraw the temple management affairs from the Law department and entrust the responsibility to either the Revenue department or the General Administration department.
“I had suggested a proposal to the state government long time back. But the government has not implemented my proposal till date”, he rued.