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Odisha CM slams BJP's Sambit Patra for calling Lord Jagannath ‘bhakt’ of PM Modi; he clarifies

May 20, 2024 09:30 PM IST

Sambit Patra, the BJP candidate from Puri, clarified that his comment was a slip of the tongue and asked Odisha chief minister not to make an issue out of it.

BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Puri, Sambit Patra, courted huge controversy on Monday by calling Lord Jagannath, a revered deity in Odisha, an ardent ‘bhakt’ (devotee) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik condemned Sambit Patra's remarks and deemed it an insult to Lord Jagannath.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned Sambit Patra's statement, asserting that it insulted Lord Jagannath and hurt the sentiments of devotees.

“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,” Patnaik posted on X.

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“I strongly denounce the statement made by the BJP Puri Lok Sabha candidate 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,” the chief minister added.

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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also joined Patnaik in condemning Patra's remarks which he claimed was the “statement of BJP”.

“They have started thinking that they are above God. This is height of arrogance. Calling God bhakt of Modi ji is an insult to God,” Kejriwal said.

Patra, however, dubbed it a ‘slip of the tongue’ and urged Patnaik not to make an “issue out of a nonexistent issue”.

“Naveen Ji Namaskar! I gave 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 Mahaprabhu..by mistake during one of the bytes I pronounced just the opposite,” Patra wrote.

“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!” he added.

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Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi led a roadshow from Marichkote square to Medical square on Grand Road in Puri. The prime minister was accompanied by state BJP president Manmohan Samal, Sambit Patra and Puri Assembly segment nominee Jayanta Sarangi.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra is trying his luck again from Puri after losing out in a close contest in 2019 against Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Pinaki Mishra by 11,714 votes.

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