Day After MP Aparajita’s Visit: BJD & Oppn Engage In War Of Words Over Heritage Corridor In Puri
Bhubaneswar: The controversy surrounding heritage corridor around Jagannath temple in Puri fails to die down as ruling BJD and opposition BJP and Congress were engaged in a ward of words on Thursday over the issue.
A day after BJP’s Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi went on foot along with her supporters to offer prayer to Lord Jagannath and came down on the state government for carrying out construction work for the project in violation of ASI regulations, the party’s Puri MLA Jayant Sarangi extended his support to her.
“BJP has never opposed development works anywhere in the state. But we cannot support illegal work carried out by the government on the plea of people’s welfare. Aparajita opposed the digging activities around temple without taking permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). I support her,” said Sarangi.
Countering the statement of BJD leaders that BJP is politicising the issue in the name of religion, the MLA said the ruling party must refrain from politicising in the name of development. “Though no major construction works are going on around the temple, the government is building permanent structures. The ASI is aware of the development, but it has remained silent so far. It must be taken to task,” he added.
BJD chief whip Pramila Mallick countered the BJP’s allegation by saying that the government has taken up the construction activities following discussion with experts. “The administration has been doing its work within the framework of law and regulations. There has been no violation of any law in the project work,” he said.
Without naming Aparajita, she said the MP is trying to push her political career by playing with the sentiments of people. “She is only showing off her concern without any substantial evidence. Even her own party is not supporting her,” she said.
While Puri Gajapati and the servitors of the temple have been supporting the government on the issue, she is the only person who is opposing it, Mallick said adding that people would teach her lesson at appropriate time.
Speaking on similar vein, BJD legislators Anant Narayan Jena said the steps taken by chief minister Naveen Patnaik have been welcomed by the people as it was proved in the recently concluded rural and urban elections. :People of Odisha have rightly realised which party is working for their development. Nobody can stop the heritage corridor work in Puri now,” he said.
He further said due to the efforts of the BJD government, Puri has got a place in international arena. “The leaders should not spread lies in the name of Lord Jagannath,” he added.
The Congress also pitched in to stoke controversy as its senior leader Narasingha Mishra said the government was engaged in illegal construction work which is posing threat to the 12th century shrine. “The administration has dug up massive pits and erected pillars for huge structures close to ‘Meghanad Pacheri’ (temple wall) without taking permission from ASI,” he said.