Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, March 28:
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today announced the names for the posts of Biswabasu and Vidyapati for the Banajaga Yatra team for the 2015 Nabakalebara Mahotsav of the Lords, which would set off from Odisha’s holy town of Puri tomorrow.
While Binayak Dasmohapatra has been nominated as the Biswabasu for the Banajaga Yatra, Narsingha Pati Mohapatra has been named as Vidyapati, said SJTA sources.
Banajaga Yatra (the search for the daru – neem tree logs out of which new idols of the deities are carved) is considered the opening chapter of Nabakalebara Yatra.
The SJTA had earlier announced Haladhar Dasmohapatra as the dalapati (team leader) of the Banajaga Yatra team.
While naming the Biswabasu and the Vidyapati did not pose much of a problem, the selection of the upadalapatis (deputy team leader) proved to be tough nut to crack for the temple administration.
Unable to decide on one name for fear of enraging the many other contenders, the SJTA has reportedly taken the easy way out of the dilemma by taking the unpredented step of naming as many as four upadalapatis.
Though the names of the four upadalapatis will be announced later today, it is reliably learnt that the SJTA has zeroed in on are Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra, Durga Dasmohapatra, Chandrasekhar Dasmohapatra and Ganeswar Dasmohaptra, said sources in Daitapati Nijog.
The decision to nominate four upadalapatis for this year’s Banajaga Yatra, for which there is no precedence, is being seen as a move by the SJTA to avoid possible disturbances during the Yatra because of factionalism within the Daitapati Nijog.
Among the four to be nominated as upadalapatis is a top ruling party leader. Since the state government cannot interfere in temple affairs or Banajaga Yatra, which is a community service, the government is banking on its man to prevent any disturbance during the Banajaga Yatra, said a source in the know of things.
Sources revealed that the temple administration placated one of the two contenders for the single position of Biswabasu by nominating him as one of the upadalapatis, leaving Binayak Dasmohapatra, whose name for the position of Biswabasu was announced today, as the only man in the race.
The temple administration had yesterday held discussions with a seven-member panel of the Daitapati Nijog first on the issue of nomination of upadalapatis and then the issue of nomination of Biswabasu.