BHUBANESWAR: The Congress on Wednesday said it will file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to bring back Kohinoor diamond from Britain and place it in Jagannath temple in Puri.
Questioning the silence of the State Government on the issue, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan told a media conference here that since a PIL relating to Kohinoor was pending in the apex court, the Congress has planned to become a party in the case.
The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration should also become a party in the matter, he said and added that a post card campaign will be launched to urge all sections of the society to write to the President and the Prime Minister on the issue.
The Kohinoor belongs to Lord Jagannath as its last owner Maharaja Ranjit Singh had wished to offer the precious diamond to Lord Jagannath temple before his death.
Asserting that the diamond ‘rightfully’ belonged to Lord Jagannath Temple, Harichandan said the wish of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was known from a letter sent by the political agent and commissioner to Peshawar to the officiating secretary of the Government of India on July 2, 1839.
Stating that the communique has been preserved at National Archives in New Delhi, Harichandan released copies of the letter and said the demand for bringing Kohinoor diamond to India had earlier been raised by Congress in 2013 and before Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebara festival in 2015.
Seeking the intervention of Chief Minister Naven Patnaik in the matter, Harichandan asked the State Government to adopt a resolution during the current session of Assembly and send it to the Centre.
He also urged the Members of Parliament from the State to raise the issue in Parliament. A delegation of Congress would meet officials at the External Affairs Ministry in May to press their demand for returning the diamond and placing it at the Jagannath temple.