No Rath Yatra For Next 12 Years If Govt Cancels This Year, Says Puri Sevayat

Puri: With the state government yet to take a decision on Rath Yatra in Puri, a senior sevayat of Jagannath temple on Tuesday said it will be a disgrace for Odisha if the world famous festival is cancelled at the last minute.

Daitapati sevayat and Badagrahi (bodyguard) of Lord Jagannath, Jagannath Swainmahapatra said as per the tradition of the temple, there will be no Rath Yatra for next 12 years, if it is cancelled this year. This will prove a bad omen for the entire state, he warned.

Stating that the Jagannath Temple Managing Committee has assured the government of conducting the festival on June 23 with strict adherence to the social distancing guidelines, he requested the devotees not to visit Puri to witness the festival and advised them to watch it on TV at their homes.

“I am sure we will be able to conduct the festival of the Lords smoothly. We will follow the government guidelines and reduce the number of Daitapati sevayats by 50 per cent to ensure social distancing guidelines,” he said.

After the Home Ministry allowed construction of the three chariots of the Lords, it left the it to the state to take a call on the Rath Yatra. Meanwhile, the state government has said it will review the situation after the third-phase lockdown and take a decision.

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