Row in Odisha over chariot climbing could have been solved by talks: JB

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, June 26:

Assam Governor and three-time Chief Minister of Odisha JB Patnaik has said the impasse over the issue of devotees climbing the chariots during the Rath Yatra could have been solved through talks with the servitors.

JB Patnaik

“Problems are bound to come up once in a while. But there is no problem which cannot be sorted out with talks,” Patnaik told OTV in an interview.

“When I was Chief Minister, I had an excellent relationship with the sevayats (servitors) of the Jagannath Temple. I was in constant touch with them and personally talked to them whenever a problem arose. That’s why there was no major problem during either the annual Rath Yatra or even the Nabakalebara,” he said in an apparent dig at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has left the impasse to be sorted out by his minions.

The former Chief Minister did not categorically rule out getting back into active politics.

“I am active, both in Assam and here. Whenever there is some cultural, religious or literary function in Assam or here, I participate in it,” he said when asked if he would get active again after his term as Governor ends.

Pinned down on the specific question of rejoining active politics, Patnaik said; “My term as Governor of Assam comes to an end in December. I have not yet decided on getting back to active politics. But chances are I may not return,” he said.

The man, who held the record as the longest serving Chief Minister of the state before present incumbent Naveen Patnaik broke it, said he would write his autobiography after retiring as Governor.

“Earlier, I was not very keen. But after many of my friends and well wishers pressed me, I have decided to respect their wishes and write my autobiography,” Patnaik said.

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