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Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik condemns BJP's Sambit Patra for calling Lord Jagannath a 'bhakt' of PM Modi | WATCH

BJP's Sambit Patra faces backlash after referring to Lord Jagannath as a 'bhakt' of PM Modi. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik deems it an insult to the revered deity, urging the BJP to refrain from mixing religion with politics.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: May 28, 2024 13:56 IST
Odisha Sambit Patra
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik condemns the BJP's Sambit Patra.

BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Puri, Sambit Patra, stirred controversy by referring to Lord Jagannath, a highly revered deity in Odisha, as an ardent 'bhakt' (devotee) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned the remarks, calling it an insult to Lord Jagannath on Monday.

Chief Minister's response

Patnaik expressed his disapproval on social media, stating, "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." He further appealed to the BJP to refrain from involving religious figures in political discourse, warning that such comments deeply hurt Odia's pride and would be remembered and condemned by the people of Odisha.

Support from Delhi CM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal joined Patnaik in condemning Patra's remarks, asserting that the BJP's statement reflects an arrogant attitude. "They have started thinking that they are above God. This is the height of arrogance. Calling God a bhakt of Modi ji is an insult to God," Kejriwal said on X.

Sambit Patra's clarification

In response, Patra called the remark a 'slip of the tongue' and urged Patnaik not to blow it out of proportion. "Naveen Ji Namaskar! I gave a 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 mistake during one of the bytes I pronounced just the opposite," Patra explained.

He added, "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'..Thanks and Pranam!"

Prime Minister's roadshow

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi led a roadshow from Marichkote Square to Medical Square on Grand Road in Puri. Accompanied by state BJP president Manmohan Samal, Sambit Patra, and Puri Assembly segment nominee Jayanta Sarangi, Modi's presence drew significant attention.

Patra's electoral background

Sambit Patra is contesting from Puri again after narrowly losing to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Pinaki Mishra by 11,714 votes in the 2019 elections.

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