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Business News/ Politics / News/  Lord Jagannath remark: Congress demands PM Modi's apology, Kejriwal says ‘Modi ji jagganath ke bhi upar ho gaye’
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Lord Jagannath remark: Congress demands PM Modi's apology, Kejriwal says ‘Modi ji jagganath ke bhi upar ho gaye’

On Tuesday, Congress slammed the BJP over the party's Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra's 'Lord Jagannath' remark and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's apology.

BJP leader Sambit Patra on Monday sparked a major controversy over 'Lord Jagannath' remark. Premium
BJP leader Sambit Patra on Monday sparked a major controversy over 'Lord Jagannath' remark.

Opposition parties, including Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), have criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the remarks made by its Puri Lok Sabha candidate, Sambit Patra, regarding ‘Lord Jagannath’, and have demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate accused the BJP of “disrespecting" Hindu gods and the faith of crores of Hindus by becoming PM Modi's “andhbhakt". 

“Who gave him the right to say something like this? What Patra has said is an absolute insult to the faith that billions of Hindus have in their religion and the gods. Modi will have to apologise for it," she said, newswire PTI reported

Shrinate added, “Such propaganda has been seen in history before. Hitler also called himself a form of God, and Kim Jong Un calls himself a divine power. Sambit Patra called Lord Jagannath a devotee of Modi, but when there was an uproar, he said that it was a slip of the tongue."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal while demanding clarification over the controversy, criticised the saffron party, saying that the BJP leaders have become so arrogant that they have started calling themselves God. 

"Lord Jagannath is considered the god of the entire universe. Yesterday, Sambit Patra said that Lord Jagannath is a devotee of Modi ji. This is a very sad thing. Modi ji jagganath ke bhi upar ho gaye (Modi ji is above even Jagannath ). They should get an answer for their arrogance," he said as quoted by ANI. 

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik also appealed to the BJP to keep Lord Jagannath above the political discourse. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Biju Janata Dal leader slammed Patra for hurting Odia 'asmita' (pride).

“Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe. Calling Mahaprabhu a 'bhakt' of another human being is an insult to the Lord... it is totally condemnable. This has hurt the sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannatha bhaktas and Odias across the world," Patnaik said. 

"The Lord is the greatest symbol of Odia asmita. I strongly denounce the statement... 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 people of Odisha for a very long time," he added. 

On Monday, Sambit Patra said that Odisha's most revered deity, Lord Jagannath, is a devotee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, he later said that this was a slip of the tongue, and he wanted to mean that the prime minister was an ardent 'bhakt' (devotee) of Lord Jagannath.

The BJP spokesperson also apologised and announced he would undertake penance by observing fast for three days from Tuesday after being criticised by different quarters.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 22 May 2024, 09:25 AM IST
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