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Business News/ Politics / News/  ‘Lord Jagannath Bhakt of PM Modi’: BJP's Sambit Patra sparks major controversy
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‘Lord Jagannath Bhakt of PM Modi’: BJP's Sambit Patra sparks major controversy

Sambit Patra's remarks drew a sharp reaction from Opposition parties, with the local Congress unit calling it a direct attack on Odisha Asmita.

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra speaks to reporters in Odisha.Premium
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra speaks to reporters in Odisha.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sambit Patra on Monday sparked a major controversy while speaking with reporters during the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election 2024 and the second phase of the Odisha Assembly election. While speaking about Odisha's culture, Sambit Patra said that “Lord Jagannath is a devotee of PM Modi". His remarks drew a sharp reaction from Opposition parties, with the local Congress unit calling it a direct attack on Odisha ‘Asmita’ (pride).

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 5 Voting Live Updates

"According to Sambit Patra - "Modi's bhakt is Jagannath".. It's a direct attack on Odia Asmita...... We want Sambit to apologies with folded hands in front of National Media and Each and every citizen of Odisha. It's very derogatory... You should mind your language (sic)," the Odisha Congress said in a post on X and shared the video.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik slammed Sambit Patra for insulting Lord Jagannatha and said that the BJP leader's remark demeaned the faith of crores of people.

"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," Patnaik said in a post on X.

After his remarks drew flak from various corners of political landscape, Sambit Patra released his clarification and responded to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik's post. "I gave number of bytes today to multiple media channels after the massive success of Shri Narendra Modiji’s Road Show in Puri today, everywhere I mentioned that Modi ji 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 tongue sometimes," the BJP leader said.

Sambit Patra's controversial remarks came on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself prayed at Odisha's Lord Jagannath Temple (Lord Srijagannath in Puri). "I prayed to Lord Srijagannath in Puri. May His blessings always be upon us and guide us to reach new heights of progress," PM Modi said in a post on X.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress will try to corner the BJP on Sambit Patra's remarks, which came in the middle of high-voltage elections.

PM Modi is holding multiple rallies in the state and attacking the CM Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government on all fronts. The alliance talks failed between the BJP and the BJD after disagreements on seat-sharing arrangements.

BJD govt has given mafias to Odisha: PM Modi

During an election rally in Cuttack on Monday, PM Modi targeted the Odisha government and said it had given the state only land mafia, sand mafia, coal mafia and mining mafia.

"The media have started saying that there will be a hung assembly, but that's not true; the BJP will form the government in Odisha. If there is something that BJD has given to Odisha, it has given land mafia, sand mafia, coal mafia and mining mafia," he said.

"Women have come here in such large numbers. First-time voters seem full of enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm and zeal show that, after 25 years, Odisha is going to create a new history. On June 10, the BJP's first CM in Odisha will take an oath, it is certain. With your blessings, the Modi government will take the oath for the third time in Delhi," PM Modi added.

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Published: 20 May 2024, 06:56 PM IST
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