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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Patra’s faux pas on Lord Jagannath triggers criticism


A faux pas by BJP national spokesperson and Puri Lok Sabha candidate Dr Sambit Patra describing Lord Jagannath as ardent devotee of Narendra Modi, has triggered criticism from various quarters including political circles.

On Monday, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s road show in Puri, Patra made the grave error in an interview with a TV channel by claiming that Lord Jagannath is a devotee of Narendra Modi.

Though he later apologized and said it was a slip of tongue, by that time his statement was widely circulated on social media, and he was heavily trolled.

Patra said he wanted to say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the greatest devotee of Lord Jagannath but said the opposite.

In his X handle, Patra said: “I have made this mistake unintentionally. I know some people must have been hurt but even God forgives mistakes made unintentionally.”

He further said, “I need to seek forgiveness from Mahaprabhu Jagannath for this slip of the tongue, and I have decided to do a ‘upvaas’, for three days.”

However, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was quick to react to Patra’s statement on the TV channel and strongly condemned the BJP leader’s statement.

“Taking to his X handle, Patnaik said, “Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe.” Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is an insult to the Lord.”

This has hurt the (devotees) sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannatha bhaktas and Odias across the world,” Patnaik said.

“The Lord is the greatest Symbol of Odia Asmita. Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is totally condemnable, ” the Chief Minister said, strongly denouncing the statement made by the BJP Puri Lok Sabha candidate.

Patnaik appealed to the BJP to keep the Lord above any political discourse and said, “By this, you have deeply hurt Odia Asmita, and this will be remembered and condemned by people of Odisha for a very long time.”

Taking to his X handle, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said, “Bhakti in religion may be a road to salvation of the soul, but in politics or hero worship, is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.”

He said the comments made by the BJP’s Puri candidate is an insult to Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannath revered by crores of people. “We condemn it in the strongest possible words. It reinforced our charge that a BJP, drunk with power, will not even spare our Gods, let alone India’s people.”

“On June 4, this arrogance shall be destroyed by the Will of the power,” Kharge said in his X handle.

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