Subramanian Swamy to discuss Jagannath temple project with Odisha CM

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday said that he will discuss the ongoing controversy over the Srimandir Parikrama project in Puri with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

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Swamy told this to media persons after meeting Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalanda Saraswati at Govardhan Peeth here.

Stating that he was aware of the controversies surrounding the project and the case pending in the Orissa High Court, Swamy said, “Biju Patnaik was a close friend of mine and I have good relations with his son and present Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. I will take up the issue and seek his views on the project. There is a need to end the controversy.”

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The BJP leader said that he can intervene in the issue if either the Puri Shankaracharya or the CM will seek his support.

He opposed the intervention of the government in the affairs of the Jagannath temple. The temples were the hub of knowledge and innovation and kings used to frequently visit them. “The temples should be free from the government’s control,” Swamy said.

However, as per the Constitution, the government can intervene if there are some financial irregularities, he added.

Swamy’s meeting with the Puri Shankaracharya seems significant as the latter has strongly opposed the project and slammed the Odisha government for getting pilgrim sites near the temple vacated in the name of development.

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