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Friday, July 19, 2024

India: BJP’s Sambit Patra’s ‘slip of tongue’ on Lord Jagannath, PM Modi sparks row

The viral clip features Sambit Patra speaking to a private Odia channel where he can be heard saying that Lord Jagannath is PM Modi’s “bhakt” (devotee). The BJP leader later apologised, calling his remark a “slip of tongue”.

In Short

  • Sambit Patra, in a slip of tongue, stated that Lord Jagannath is PM Modi’s devotee
  • Naveen Patnaik and Arvind Kejriwal condemn Patra’s remark
  • Congress demands an apology from PM Modi

BJP leader and party’s candidate from Puri Lok Sabha seat Sambit Patra courted a controversy after a slip of tongue remark by him on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lord Jagannath went viral.

The viral clip features Patra speaking to a private Odia channel where he could be heard saying that Lord Jagannath is PM Modi’s bhakt (devotee).

Reacting to the video, Odisha Chief Minister and the ruling Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik said, “Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of Universe. 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.”

Calling Lord Jagannath the greatest symbol of Odia asmita (pride), Patnaik denounced Patra’s statement.

“By this you have deeply hurt Odia Asmita and this will be remembered and condemned by the people of Odisha for a very long time,” he said.

Later, Sambit Patra clarified his remarks, emphasising that it was a slip of tongue.

Replying to Naveen Patnaik’s post on X, Sambit Patra wrote, “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. 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.

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also criticised Patra, calling his remark an “insult to God”.

“I strongly condemn this 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,” he said.

The Congress also hit out at the BJP over Patra’s remark. “BJP leader Sambit Patra says that Mahaprabhu Lord Shri Jagannath is a devotee of Narendra Modi. This is a grave insult to Mahaprabhu. This statement has hurt the faith of crores of devotees. Sambit Patra, who is immersed in Modi Bhakti, should not have committed this sin. Narendra Modi himself should apologize for this disgusting statement,” a post on party’s X handle read.

Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, is a popular deity in Odisha and his temple in Puri is a pilgrimage site.

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