Oppn Demands Judicial Probe Into Daru Selection, Fixing

Bhubaneswar: A day after the startling disclosure by a senior architect of the Puri Jagannath Temple chariot claiming fixing in the selection of Daru (trunk of a tree) by the Daitapati sevayats for construction of idols of the Lords during Nabakalebara festival in 2016, the BJP and the Congress have demanded a judicial probe into the matter.

At a press meet here on Thursday, BJP state spokesperson Pitambara Acharya, said a conspiracy had been hatched for the selection of the Daru. Considering the gravity of the matter, there is a need for an impartial probe to identify the mastermind, the broker in the deal and those who had given money as part of the deal. “Either the state government can request the CBI or it can request the Supreme Court or the High Court to direct the CBI to take up the probe,” Achyara said.

Reacting to the statement of Acharya, BJD leader and Finance Minister, Sashi Bhusan Behera, said the BJP has put forth an incredulous statement on this matter without any conclusive evidence. “By giving such a statement, the party has committed a serious crime as it is trying to create a sense of distrust and disbelief among the devotees to the idols of the Lords,” he pointed out.

The Congress also came down heavily on the ruling party over the matter. “The BJD government is a fixer. Here everything is done through fixing. How come the Daru for the Lords could be found in one place? The name of the BJD leader whose name was frequently discussed during the selection of Daru, is now a member of the Rajya Sabha,” senior Congress leader and Opposition chief whip, Tara Prasad Bahinipati told mediapersons here.

Pointing a finger towards another BJD leader and former minister Arun Sahu, he said that he has also played a major role in the fixing and selection of Daru, which has deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha and ardent devotees of Lord Jagannath.

“The people of Odisha would never excuse the Chief Minister,” he said and demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Orissa High Court.

President of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik, in a tweet, said “The revelations by ‘Mukhya Biswakarma’ of the Debadalana Chariot, on the Brahma Parivartan fiasco are appalling. By indulging in corruption in one of our most sacred rituals, BJD has insulted the faith of crores of Lord Jagannath devotees. The way the government has handled both the Brahma Parivartan fiasco and the Ratna Bhandar key issue has left many Lord Jagannath devotees like me deeply hurt. The BJD can’t get away with insulting our faith and belief like this,” he added.

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