Odisha Elections 2024: BJP Leader Sambit Patra Admits His Mistake Of Calling Lord Jagannath A Modi ‘Bhakt’ After Naveen’s Censure

Bhubaneswar: BJP’s national spokesman and Puri MP candidate Sambit Patra admitted his mistake of saying that Lord Jagannath was a ‘bhakt’ (devotee) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik termed it as an insult to the Lord.

Patra committed the gaffe while speaking to a news channel after Modi took out a roadshow in Puri in the morning. “Lakhs of people from different parts of the Lok Sabha constituency had turned up to participate in the roadshow of the prime minister. They had come to have darshan of Lord Jagannath who is a devotee of Modi,” he said.

Taking a strong exception to Patra’s statement, Naveen in a post in X condemned it as an insult to Mahaprabhu Jagannath who is the Lord of 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,” he said.

“I strongly denounce the statement made by the BJP’s 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 people of Odisha for a very long time,” Naveen said in the post.

Senior leader of Congress Prasad Harichandan also denounced the statement of Patra. In a press conference in Bhubaneswar, he said it was shocking that the BJP leader had demeaned Lord Jagannath by calling Him as ‘bhakt’ of Modi.

In his reaction to Naveen’s condemnation, Patra said it was a slip of tongue. “I gave number of bytes today to multiple media channels after the massive success of Narendra Modiji’s Road Show in Puri. Everywhere I mentioned that Modi ji is an ardent “Bhakt” 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 nonexistent issue. We all have slip of tongue sometimes,” he said.

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