War of words breaks out over ‘beef-eating’ vlogger’s entry into Jagannath Temple

Following the controversy, both Jani and the Jagannath Temple administration issued clarifications on their social media accounts.

Bhubaneswar: A war of words ensued between Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the entry of popular social media influencer Kamiya Jani into the Jagannath Temple in Puri, with the BJP questioning why a ‘beef-eater’ was allowed entry into the 12th century shrine.

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Launching a scathing attack, BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal said, “Kamiya Jani is a blogger and she consumes beef. Knowing everything, how was she allowed to enter a sacred place like Srimandir? Not only that, she was offered ‘Mahaprasad’, which is considered the most sacred thing.”

Biswal alleged that Jani could be seen openly claiming about eating beef in many of her videos. He reiterated the party’s demand for purification of the temple after consultation with the Sankaracharya of Puri.

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He said Jani is a paid blogger and the government has to answer the money spent on her visit to Puri and the promotion of (5T Chairman) V.K. Pandian. Biswal also demanded clarification from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Meanwhile, BJD MP Manas Mangaraj questioned the BJP for objecting to the visit of Jani to the Jaganath temple while the BJP government was making documentaries on temples partnering with Jani.

“BJP government appointed Kamiya Jani to make films on Hindu heritage and temples. She has gone to Chardham and Ayodhya to see Ram Lalla too. And all of you love her for that,” Mangaraj said.

Notably, the issue came to the fore following the arrest of a BJP worker, Sangram Patra, by Sambalpur police just a day after he raised the issue by sharing a video clip of Jani having conversations with 5T Chairman V.K. Pandian on his X account((@heitibhaina).

Patra, a post-graduate in journalism, has questioned as to why the BJD is doing publicity using such people who promote beef eating on its website. He also alleged that even then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been barred from entering the temple after she got married to a Parsee (Feroze Gandhi).

As per rules, only Hindus can enter the Jagannath Temple.

Sources claimed the Sambalpur police have reportedly arrested Patra in connection with a case registered in October over a defamatory post on his X account on the Scooter Yojana of Mission Shakti department.

Following the controversy, both Jani and the Jagannath Temple administration issued clarifications on their social media accounts.

The temple office denied the allegations of the BJP about the YouTube influencer’s entry into the temple with a camera.

“Woke up to this strange article in the newspaper questioning my visit to Jagannath Temple. Not that anyone has reached out to me yet, but just to clarify that I don’t and have never have eaten beef,” Jani posted.

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