Devotees mounting chariots: BJP hits at BJD govt for ignoring Puri seer’s suggestions

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    Bhubaneswar: In a fresh twist to the controversy over devotees climbing the chariots and touching the deities during the Puri car festival, the BJP on Sunday slammed the BJD government in state, for not paying due attention to the concern expressed by Puri seer on the issue.

    Earlier, Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nishcalanand Saraswati had objected devotees mounting the chariots and touching the deities during the annual car festival. The seer’s views were backed by several religious and social outfits in state and even Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingh Deb also joined the chorus.

    However, with servitors resisting the Puri seer’s opinion, the state government after some marathon meetings had ordered that the devotees would not be permitted on the chariots during the rituals. The partial ban expectedly once again was criticised by many including Puri seer, who demanded an absolute ban on devotees mounting the chariots.

    Now, with the BJP vice president and sitting MLA Basant Panda and party spokesperson Samir Mohanty taking a dig at the state government through a press statement for ignoring the seer’s suggestions, the issue is likely to intensify further, feel many.