Jagannath Comment: Sambit Patra announces 3-day fasting for atonement

Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national spokesperson and Puri Lok Sabha candidate Dr Sambit Patra seems to have landed in the soup for making a faux pas on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relationship with Lord Jagannath.

On Monday, while speaking to reporters after PM Modi’s roadshow at Puri, an overenthusiastic Patra said, “Lord Jagannath is a great devotee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” though he was supposed to say the other way round.

The opposition BJD and Congress immediately lapped up the gaffe to corner Patra and the BJP.

Ruling BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik condemned Patra’s remark. He said: “Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe. 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 Jagannatha 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. I strongly denounce the statement made by the BJP Puri Lok Sabha candidate and I appeal to the 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 the people of Odisha for a very long time.”

Congress president Mallikarjuna Kharge and All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Odisha Dr. Ajay Kumar also criticized Patra.

“The comment made by BJP’s Puri candidate is an insult to Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha revered by crores of people. We condemn it in the strongest possible words. It reinforces our charge that a BJP, drunk with power, will not even spare our Gods, let alone India’s people. On June 4th, this arrogance shall be destroyed by the “Will of the People.”

Dr Ajay Kumr wrote: “Will the media ask any question to Sambit Patra? Where are those journalists with the 7 pm agenda? Where have those Hindutva organizations gone,” he asked in a post on X.

Patra, on Tuesday, issued a clarification through a video message, saying it was a “slip of the tongue”.

“I gave a number of bytes on Monday to multiple media channels after the massive success of Shri Narendra Modi's roadshow in Puri. Everywhere, I mentioned that Modi ji is an ardent “Bhakt” (devotee) 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 non-existent issue ...we all have “slip of the tongue sometimes,” said Patra in a post on X, responding to CM Naveen Patnaik’s attack.

He also announced that he would observe a three-day fasting for Prayaschit (atonement) and Paschatap (repentance).

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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