Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 14:
It’s now out in the open. Political interference was the reason that delayed the rolling out of Lord Jagannath’s daru sagadi from Kharipadia in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha though a host of other reasons are being officially cited for the delay.
It is no more in the realm of speculation and has come from the horses’ mouth. Daitapati Nijog President Ramakrushna Das Mohapatra has himself revealed to leading Odia daily Sambad that the commencement of the journey was delayed by a day on the request of Tirtol MLA Dr Rajashree Mallick.
While everything was complete from the choupata (resizing) of the daru to making of the sagadi, the sojourn of Lord’s Jagannath’s daru to Puri could not take off and was delayed by two days.
The Tirtol MLA has been the subject of discussion ever since the announcement of the locations of the darus in Jagatsinghpur district. The MLA had put up huge banners at Kanakpur (Jhankad) and Kharipadia welcoming devotees and had set up stalls for free distribution of tanka torani (a locally made brew for quenching thirst) to devotees visiting these places.
Allegations were made that the MLA was trying to reap political benefits in the name of service to people. However, her followers had refuted the allegations and said that it was their primary responsibility since the darus were located in their MLA’s constituency limits.
However, the chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Chandra Mohapatra has ascribed a different reason for the delay. He said non-completion of choupata work and bad weather was responsible for the delay in the sagadi’s rolling out.
Detention of the daru sagadi by a day for the MLA has drawn flak from the opposition parties.