BHUBANESWAR: In a sudden change of stand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday mounted pressure on the State Government for conducting the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath at Puri on Tuesday.
In a day when BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking modification of the Court’s earlier order on Car festival, saffron party MLA from Puri Jayant Sarangi sought the intervention of Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the emotive issue. Writing separately to the Governor and the Chief Minister, Sarangi requested them to take necessary steps for filing petition in the apex court for modification of its earlier order that directed the Government to stop the Car festival in view of the Covid -19 pandemic.
“I assure you that I shall extend all possible support and cooperation to the Government to make the ensuing Rath Yatra without devotees except the customary presence of Sevayats and police personnel,” Sarangi said. This will be possible if the Government take preventive measures before and during the festival by promulgating prohibitive orders and shutting down Puri town to make it out of bounds for the devotees, he added.
State BJP president Samir Mohanty also urged the Chief Minister to act as per the advise of Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb. Mohanty, who earlier said the BJP will respect the Supreme Court order, requested the Chief Minister to talk to the Shankaracharya without delay and act as per his advise.