BHUBANESWAR: Odisha revenue and disaster management minister Sudam Marandi has courted a controversy after a video purportedly showing himself claiming to be ‘God’ and his party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as ‘Lord Jagannath’ went viral.
According to agency sources on Friday, around 50 servitors of Haribaldev Jew Temple in Baripada took out a padayatra from Bari-pada to Bhubanesewar to meet the Chief Minister to apprise him about various issues plaguing the ancient shrine. However, the padayatra was reportedly called off.
According to agency sources, later that day, Mr Marandi, while commenting over the padayatra during a meeting, said that the servitors should have met him first before trying to meet the Chief Minister since he is their elected leader. The minister then compared himself with God and also equated the Chief Minister with Lord Jagannath.
Registering strong protests against Mr Marandi’s statement, servitors of Haribaldev Jew Temple have said that the legislator will have to suffer divine punishment for his arrogance. Local MLA Prakash Soren too hit out against the Odisha minister over his comments.
“A person cannot be a god. People are very poor here. They do not even get basic medical facilities. How can he call himself God? He has become arrogant,” Mr Soren said....