Opposition parties in Odisha see red over car fest ban

Opposition political parties criticised the Odisha government for its decision to cancel the annual Rath Yatra at Haribaldev Jew Temple.

Published: 11th June 2021 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2021 09:18 AM   |  A+A-

Carpenters constructing a chariot at Bada Danda in Baripada on Thursday.

Carpenters constructing a chariot at Bada Danda in Baripada on Thursday. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BARIPADA: Opposition political parties on Thursday criticised the State government for its decision to cancel the annual Rath Yatra at Haribaldev Jew temple in Baripada, also known as the Dwitiya Srikhetra. 

Accusing the government of trying to ‘destroy’ the age-old tradition of Baripada, both Congress and BJP leaders of Mayurbhanj districts demanded that the festival be conducted without participation of devotees. 

The Rath Yatra at Haribaldev Jew temple is held a day after the car festival in Puri and is unique for its 13-day sojourn of the Trinity and pulling of Devi Subhadra’s chariot by women only. 

District Congress committee president Hemanta Das claimed that the State government was deliberately attempting to dismantle the traditional practice of Haribaldev Jew temple by cancelling Rath Yatra for two consecutive years.

“There was no fear of Covid spread when the ruling party MLAs and workers participated in sports activities at Baripada stadium without observing Covid guidelines with the district administration extending support to them for conducting the events during the pandemic situation. But when it comes to Rath Yatra, the government claims to be serious about Covid transmission,” he alleged.

Demanding that the Rath Yatra be held without participation of devotees, Das said, "Congress leaders will meet the district Collector in this regard on Saturday. There will be no problem if the car festival is held at Dwitiya Srikhetra by following the Covid-19 protocols,” he added.

Similarly, BJP district president Kandra Soren said the gathering of people will be less during Rath Yatra as compared to the crowds at various marketplaces. To preserve the local tradition, the State government should change its decision and allow Rath Yatra at Baripada without participation of devotees, he added.


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