BJP Odisha leader’s controversial statement on Puri sparks ire

Bhubhaneswar: BJP Odisha Spokesperson Lekhashree Samantasinghar drew ire of leaders cutting across party lines for her controversial statement that people of other parts of the country got to know about pilgrim town Puri being in Odisha only after Sambit Patra contested for Member of Parliament (MP) from the constituency. 

Addressing party workers at an event here, Samantasinghar said people used to think that Puri is in Kolkata but they came to know about the town being in Odisha only after Sambit Patra contested for 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Puri.

Soon after a video clip of her statement went viral on social media, leaders across party lines slammed the saffron party leader for the same.

Expressing displeasure over the statement, BJD MP Amar Patnaik said, “First, BJP Vice-President Baijayant Panda compared Odisha with Pakistan and now Samantasinghar is giving such statement. It is an insult to Odisha and the land of Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe. Even a 3-year-old child knows where Puri is, the humble abode of Lord Jagannath. Make no mistake, He is the lord of Kolkata as well.”

Similarly, Congress senior MLA Suresh Routray said Lord Jagannath is Himalaya and Sambit Patra is not even a dirt before the Lord.

“Why is she even comparing?  Has she lost her mind,” Routray questioned.

In my experience, whenever people outside the state used to ask me where is Odisha, I used to tell them about Puri and people would easily understand and recognise.

Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.

Patnaik further advised Samantasinghar to refrain from giving such statements.

Puri MP Pinaki Mishra, who defeated Sambit Patra in the Lok Sabha elections said, Puri and the Lord’s abode has been the pride of Odisha from times immemorial and will remain so long after the arrogance of some swept away into the Bay of Bengal.


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