Sambit Patra to fast for three days as penance for his comment on Lord Jagannath - PM Modi

The BJP leader stoked a controversy saying that Lord Jagannath of Puri is a devotee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
BJP Loksabha Candidates from Puri Sambit Patra.
BJP Loksabha Candidates from Puri Sambit Patra.Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: National BJP spokesperson and party’s Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra on Monday landed himself in a soup over his controversial statement on Lord Jagannath which snowballed into a major political controversy.

Responding to media queries after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s roadshow on Bada Danda (Grand Road) at Puri, Patra said he had no words to describe the success of the event and the feeling of the crowd.

“By the way, Jagannath is a devotee of Modi which made the roadshow a grand success,” he said.

Though he clarified that it was a slip of tongue, the remark provided enough ammunition to rivals especially BJD to hit back at the saffron party which has made ‘Odia Asmita’ its poll plank.

Taking to his X handle, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is an insult to the Lord. This has hurt the sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannath bhaktas and Odias across the world. The Lord is the greatest symbol of Odia Asmita. Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is totally condemnable.”. He further stated, “I strongly denounce the statement made by the BJP Puri Lok Sabha candidate and appeal to BJP to keep the Lord above any political discourse. By this you have deeply hurt Odia Asmita and this will be remembered and condemned by people of Odisha for a very long time.”

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “I strongly condemn this statement of BJP. They have started thinking that they are above God. This is height of arrogance. Calling God bhakt of Modi ji is an insult to God.”

In his clarification to Naveen, Patra said, “Everywhere I mentioned that Modi ji is an ardent “Bhakt” of Shri Jagannath Mahaprabhu...by mistake during one of the bytes I pronounced just the opposite ... I know you too know and understand this ..Sir let’s not make an issue out of a nonexistent issue ..we all have “slip of tongue sometimes”..Thanks and Pranam!”

Sambit to fast for three days as penance

Stating he was deeply troubled over his mistake, Sambit Patra said he bowed down at the feet of Mahaprabhu Jagannath and begged for forgiveness from the Lord.

“As penance for my sin, I will fast for the next three days,” he said in a late night video message

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