Odisha’s ‘Richest’ Minister Naba Das Responds To Rs 1 Cr ‘Gold Urn’ Donation To Shani Temple
Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Health Minister Naba Kishore Das on Monday said that he offered an urn with mustard oil and donated Rs 10 lakh to Shani Temple at Shinganapur under Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra.
He also requested the media to refrain from broadcasting false reports and respect the Hindu rituals. “People in lakhs visit the shrine and I was also there on ‘Shani Amavasya’, which is considered an auspicious occasion for ‘Daana and Dharma’,” Das said.
The minister further said he prayed for the well-being of the people of Odisha and the prosperity of the state.
After a video of his offering prayers at the shrine went viral on Sunday, there were reports that he had donated an urn made of 700-gram gold and 5-kg silver, worth Rs 1 crore, to the Shani Temple trust. It is believed to be the costliest gift donated by any devotee to the temple so far. While the offering was made in the name of Das and his daughter, who is reportedly getting ready to make her political debut, the shrine authorities was asked to keep it confidential.
The ‘Shani Amavasya’ occurred in Pausa month of the Hindu calendar after 20 years and was considered most suspicious to appease Lord Shani by performing puja.
In 2022, Das, who represents Jharsuguda, declared movable and immovable property worth Rs 34 crore including those in the name of his spouse. Das owns a large fleet of over 70 vehicles valued at around Rs 15 crore. He disclosed that his wife had 75 vehicles, of which 18 were procured in 2021 alone. Among the vehicles owned by the minister is a Mercedes Benz valued at over Rs 1.14 crore.
Among the rare assets of Das are three firearms –a revolver valued at Rs 55,000, a rifle worth Rs 1,25,000 and a double barrel gun priced at Rs 17,500.