Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 8:
Senior BJD leader and minister Dr Damodar Rout who had earlier come down heavily on the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for restraining the Gobardhan Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati from climbing the chariots with his followers during the Rath Yatra on June 29, has sought to resolve the issue at the earliest.
“It is high time that the chief administrator of SJTA should make efforts to end the ongoing impasse by initiating talks with the seer and heal the sentiments of crores of Odias who have been deeply hurt by such an unfortunate incident”, Dr Rout told the media on Monday.
Stating that the SJTA has been discharging its duty as an autonomous unit since 1955, the minister said the state government has minimum interference in the administrative affairs of the temple.
“Since the duty of the temple administrator is to ensure smooth management of temple affairs in proper coordination with the Shankaracharya and the Puri Gajapati Maharaja, he should immediately resolve the dispute that has arisen over the issue of the seer climbing to the chariots with his disciples”, Dr Rout pointed out.
“The temple administrator should make efforts to maintain the religious tradition. Any deviation from this would result in indiscipline”, he added.
The minister, however, praised the temple administration for facilitating the devotees to have a smooth darshan of the Lords from the ground and also for not allowing them to climb the chariots during this year’s Rath Yatra.