Sambit Patra, Pinaki Mishra exchange barbs over Srimandir Parikrama Project
Odisha government failed to protect the heritage and culture of Odisha, says Patra; and in response Puri MP hits back with rejected politician jibe.
BHUBANESWAR: A Day after a broken lion sculpture was found in the debris of where the Emar Mutt was located, a war of words between the BJD and BJP over Srimandir Parikrama project intensified with the latter calling the State government obstinate and stubborn.
Coming down heavily on the Odisha government over the issue, national spokesperson of the BJP Sambit Patra alleged that the digging near the Jagannath temple has been done without a ground penetrating radar survey (GPRS) and impact assessment study.
“Why was the ASI advice ignored and GPRS and heritage impact assessment study not done before carrying out the digging activities?” he asked.
Alleging that there are chances that many such heritage sculptures are going to be damaged because of the State government’s act of utilising JCB machines for digging, Patra said that the broken sculpture of the lion should be conserved. The issue should not have been politicised, he added.
Stating that truth cannot be hidden forever, Patra said that people will never forgive the BJD government which failed to protect the heritage and culture of Odisha. The BJP leader also targeted Puri MP Pinaki Mishra for his misleading statement on the project.
“The State government is going ahead with the project without any approval. Mishra is misleading people, whatever he’s saying is against Constitutional laws,” he added.
Mishra was quick to hit back at Patra and said that history will identify such people as charlatans and malefic clowns who were obstructing development, security and conservation works of the temple purely out of selfish greed and unbridled malice. “I would urge all such wannabe politicians to rise above party and personal lines at least for the sake of Srimandir,” he added.
Stating that allegations about digging without GPRS are baseless, Mishra said that the State government’s affidavit in the High Court will clarify all the aspects. “All that’s needed is a little more patience and a little less malice,” he added.
Mishra said that everywhere work is happening for the benefit of 4.5 crore people of Odisha, but most unfortunately, from day one in Puri Srimandir redevelopment, some vested interests and political factions especially those who want to create their political significance, have been creating obstacles.
He said it is the State government’s mission to improve facilities for pilgrims and restore the architectural glory of ancient temples in Odisha such as Srimandir in Puri, Samaleswari temple, Baldevjew temple, Lingaraj temple, and Nurusinghnath temple.
“However, politicians who have been rejected by the people are wanting to stop the temple work somehow as they fear the resounding success of the Srimandir project will be bad news for them in the elections in 2024. They can never be satisfied with any explanation,” he added.