BHUBANESWAR: The state government drew severe flak from the Opposition BJP and Congress a day after Supreme Court disallowed Rath Yatra across Odisha including Srimandir at Puri, with its role in the entire process coming under scanner.
Senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said the State Government’s role will remain under suspicion after the sudden cancellation of the biggest festival of Lord Jagannath though all are duty bound to abide by the Supreme Court order. He, however, alleged that there was lack of will on the part of the Government to conduct the Rath Yatra.
President of the State unit of BJP Sameer Mohanty said everybody has to abide by the Supreme Court order on Rath Yatra even if it is painful. "We have to accept the reality that the pandemic is at its high during the month," he said.
Similarly, Congress MLA and former minister Suresh Kumar Routray held the State Government completely responsible for the Supreme court order. "I cannot tolerate such development. You (state government) have broken the century old tradition. What have you done? Lord Jagannath will never forgive you (state government)," he said in a choked voice while tears rolled down his cheeks.
Reacting to Mohapatra’s allegations, senior BJD leader and Government chief whip Pramila Mallick said there is no conspiracy as alleged. "Who will give the guarantee that the disease will not further spread when lakhs of people congregate during the annual festival," she said and added that there is a lot of difference between the Snana Yatra and Rath Yatra.
Snana Yatra is held within the temple premises while Rath Yatra is conducted on the Grand Road outside the temple, she said.