Industries News.Net

"If BJP think these things can give electoral success...": VK Pandian on Jagannath Temple's 'Ratna Bhandar' missing keys controversy

21 May 2024

New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader VK Pandian, close aide of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the issue related to missing keys of its Ratna Bhandar of Lord Jagannath Temple has been raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders during the election period but it has not yielded electoral benefits.

In an interview with ANI, VK Pandian who is also the Chairman, 5T, Odisha said that BJD government is very transparent on this issue and Ratna Bhandar will be opened soon during the Rath Yatra time.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raked up the issue of the keys of Lord Jagannath Temple's Ratna Bhandar that went missing six years ago.

BJD leader Pandian said, "The matter (missing keys) is under the inquiry of the Orissa High Court which formed a Committee. The committee has decided to open Ratna Bhandar during Rath Yatra, at that time it will be opened and everything will be known to people when enquiry will be completed."Pandian further explained that the management of Ratna Bhandar and other temple affairs are managed by a committee led by Gajpati Maharaj, who is not a political person or an official.

"Ratna Bhandar is the treasury of Lord Jagannath, it has not been opened from the 1980s onwards. It's been more than 40 years and nobody has opened it. There has to be an occasion to open. Ratna Bhandar and temple affairs are managed by the committee, which is headed by Gajpati Maharaj. He is not a political person or an official, they have hereditary rights, and they manage the affairs of Mandir, so for 40 years something has not been opened. Everyone in Odisha will know when the Ratna Bhandar is going to open. There will be a series of rituals as to when and how it will be open," he said.

BJD leader also said that the current Chhattisgarh Governor, Biswabhusan Harichandan, who was holding the Law Ministry portfolio in alliance with BJD (2004-2009), never raised any issue related to the mismanagement of the Jagannath temple. He also said that Odisha BJP chief Manmohan Samal, who was also the minister, never spoke of anything related to this matter.

"If there was anything amiss, they would have raised the issue at that time. It has been 40 years, nobody has opened it. Chief Minister Patnaik took charge in 2000," he said.

"This is an issue that has always been sensationalised during the elections in 2019, in bypolls and also in Panachayat polls. BJP lost all districts. If they think these things can give electoral success, then this is history. The government has been extremely transparent and it is under the purview of the High Court," he said.

On Prime Minister Modi's dig that missing keys might have been sent to Tamil Nadu (birthplace of VK Pandian).

"At a personal level, it makes me feel saddened that Lord Jagannath and my connection with Jagannath are being questioned for political purpose which is sad personally. It is completely baseless and very unfortunate. He has made a political statement. I will leave it to Lord Jagannath to decide and surrender before Lord Jagannath," he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi said that the keys of Ratna Bhandar has been lost for the past 6 years. PM Modi vowed to solve this issue, saying that he will make public the report of the committee that was formed to look into this matter if BJP is voted to power in the state.

CM Patnaik ordered a judicial inquiry after officials of the temple were unable to find the keys of the Ratna Bhandar during the inspection of its structural condition as directed by the Orissa high court in 2018. The commission submitted a 324-page report the same year.

The Bharatiya Janta Party last year in November again reiterated its demand for reopening the Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of Lord Jagannath temple, Puri for the repair and inventory of valuables stored in the Bhandar. (ANI)

Copyright ©1998-2024 Industries News.Net | Mainstream Media Limited - All rights reserved