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Sambit Patra Lands In A Soup Over Lord Jagannath Remark

Last updated on: May 21, 2024 06:42 IST

The Congress, Biju Janata Dal and Aam Aadmi Party on Monday, May 20, 2023, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party's Puri candidate Sambit Patra of insulting Lord Jagannath and hurting the sentiments of devotees with his remarks, which Patra said were a 'slip of the tongue'.

IMAGE: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra D Modi holds a roadshow to support BJP candidate Sambit Patra, left, in Puri, May 20, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Congress shared a video of Patra speaking in Odia and slammed his remarks that 'Mahaprabhu Lord Shri Jagannath is a devotee of Narendra Modi', demanding that Prime Minister Modi apologise for the same.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also condemned Patra's comments and asked the 'BJP to keep the Lord above any political discourse'.

Amid uproar over his words, Patra took to X and said he spoke to multiple media channels after Modi's roadshow in Puri where he mentioned that 'Modiji 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 the tongue sometimes.' Patra said in response to Naveen Patnaik.

But the Opposition parties latched on to the remarks, denouncing them as an 'insult' to Lord Jagannath.

'BJP leader Sambit Patra saying that Mahaprabhu Lord Shri Jagannath is a devotee of Narendra Modi. This is a grave insult to Mahaprabhu. This statement has hurt the faith of crores of devotees,' the Congress said on its X handle.

'Sambit Patra, who is immersed in Modi Bhakti, should not have committed this sin. Narendra Modi should apologise for this disgusting statement,' the Congress said.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said it reinforces 'our charge that a BJP, drunk with power, will not even spare our Gods, let alone India's people'.

In a post on X in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said, 'When the prime minister starts considering himself as an emperor and his courtiers start considering him as God, then it is clear that the downfall of the 'Lanka of sin' is near.'

'Who gave a handful of BJP people the right to hurt the sentiments of crores of people? This ego is becoming the cause of their destruction,' Gandhi said.

Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik in a post on X said, 'Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha 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. Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is totally condemnable.

'I strongly denounce the statement made by the BJP 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 the people of Odisha for a very long time.'

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