BHUBANESWAR: Pictures of BJP’s Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra carrying an idol of Lord Jagannath during a rally on Tuesday has now sparked off a controversy. According to sources, after Patra was nominated as BJP candidate from Puri Lok Sabha constituency, the senior party leader had ta-ken out a campaign rally during which he was seen holding an idol of Lord Jagannath.
The servitor community of the 12th century shrine condemned Mr Patra’s act as an insult to the culture, religion and faith of Lord Jagannath.
“We have the festival of Rath Yatra which is dedicated for Lord Jagannath, but the way the BJP leader promoted the act of carrying the Lord in a car is a disgrace,” said senior servitor Rama Chandra Das Mohapatra.However, Mr Patra defended the charges levelled by the servitors and said that he only carried an idol of Lord Jagannath which was given to him by a supporter.
“A friend of mine gifted the idol of the Lord to me during my campaign and I carried it with ‘bhakti’ (utter devotion). It is not at all an issue of politicization of the Lord Jagannath, but whoever presents me such an opportunity to carry the Lord, I will do so," said Mr Patra.