Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked four ministers to rush to Puri and ensure the smooth celebration of the ‘Rath Jatra festival on July 18 With Odisha government being slammed over reports of deviation in the century old ‘Brahma Paribartan’ ritual of Lord Jagannath.
Sources said Patnaik’s order comes in the backdrop of delay in conducting the ritual of ‘Brahma Paribartan’ (transfer of soul substance from old idols to new ones) of the Lords on June 15. Though the original schedule was to undertake Brahma Paribartan on midnight of June 15, the secret ritual was held on the day time of June 16. Though the four ministers remained silent on the responsibilities given to them, Deb said these ministers would go to Puri and ensure that facilities are in place much before the festival. The chief minister has also told the ministers that the festival must be hassle-free.
The state govenrment is expecting a congregation of about 25 lakh people on ‘Rath Jatra’ day.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress and BJP have criticised the state government for non-completion of different works before the festival. They also held the state government responsible for the deviation of the age old tradition in the Brahma Paribartan ritual.