Bhubaneswar: While resentment is brewing among the sevayats and think-tanks over the deposit of Rs 500 crore corpus fund of Puri Jagannath Temple and Rs 100 crore foundation fund collected from the hundi (donation box) of the temple in a private bank, the BJP has sought a clarification on this matter from the Odisha government.
Alleging that the deposit of Rs 600 crore was made without their knowledge, members of Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, the finance sub-committee and the sevayat bodies on Thursday demanded stern action against the officials concerned.
“How come the government, which is giving top priority to the safety of the temple, has turned a blind eye to the lackadaisical attitude of the temple administrators in mishandling the temple fund?” questioned a member of the Jagannath Temple Managing Committee Madhab Mahapatra.
“While the Managing Committee is the sole owner of the temple fund, the temple administration has taken such a major step of depositing the temple fund money in Yes Bank instead of a nationalised bank without its prior permission. Even the administration had not discussed the matter with the finance sub-committee. We want to know for whose interest, the temple administration decided to deposit the temple fund in a private bank? Has it been done to get more interest from this bank or is there any other motive behind this move?” Mahapatra further asked.
Talking to the media, senior sevayat Binayak Dasmohapatra said the sevayat bodies will take up the matter with the Supreme Court and pray for its early intervention. .
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Pratap Sarangi said the silence of the state government on the deposit of temple fund in a private bank is another mystery after the missing key of Ratna Bhandar.
“The ruling party had some vested interests in depositing temple fund in a private bank. This is the reason why the temple administration has not given the details of the temple fund to the Supreme Court. Let the state government justify its stand on the deposit of the temple fund in a private bank,” he pointed out.
Commenting on the matter, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik asked on whose direction the temple administration officials deposited the temple money in a private bank. He wanted to know whether there was an order to this effect by the Law Department.
Asked about the matter, BJD spokesperson Samir Ranjan Dash told the media that it was not possible for him to give a statement as he had no specific information on it.