Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee The civic body on Wednesday selected a plot near the Shri Jagannath Temple here for construction of ‘Bengal Niwas’ to accommodate visitors to Puri from the state. This land is 20 minutes away from the 12th century temple at Girala on the Puri-Brahmagiri road. He said that lakhs of Bengalis come to Puri every year and many of them face difficulties in finding a place to stay. He said, I am a guest of the state, so I got special facilities, but the journalists who came from Bengal had to face a lot of trouble on Tuesday.
There is a need to arrange for more hotels and rooms to stay in Puri. Odisha Chief Secretary PK Jena, Puri District Magistrate Samarth Verma and other officials were present along with Banerjee who went to see the plot. Banerjee said she would take up the issue of land allotment with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Mamta Banerjee will meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday. Before the Lok Sabha elections to be held in the country next year, Mamta Banerjee has emerged as a powerful leader.
Both the chief ministers are considered opponents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A senior Trinamool Congress leader told that both the Chief Ministers can discuss the election strategy. However, Mamata Banerjee did not attend the meeting called by Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal to forge a Third Front before the 2024 elections. After the meeting of Akhilesh Yadav and Banerjee, Trinamool and SP had said that they would maintain equal distance from both BJP and Congress and would reach out to regional parties before the elections.
Worshiped in Jagannath temple, offered huge flag
Mamata Banerjee offered prayers at the Shri Jagannath Temple here on Wednesday and offered a huge flag, which is put up on the top of the temple, and prayed for the welfare of all people. Banerjee went to the temple at 4 pm and saw Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra there. His priest Ramakrishna Dasmohapatra said, ‘He visited the gods and goddesses alone near ‘Bhitar Katha’. She is a devotee of Lord Jagannath. He told that Banerjee watched the ‘aarti’ standing near the katha inside. She also went to the ‘Mukti Mandap’ (sitting place of religious pundits) and took the blessings of pundits there.
The temple remained closed for four hours after Mamta’s darshan
The Shree Jagannath Temple remained closed for devotees for four hours on Wednesday for a special ritual, soon after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s scheduled visit to the 12th-century shrine. Official sources have given this information. However, the temple remained open for devotees during his visit to the temple. Mamta, a devotee of Lord Jagannath, reached here at 4 pm to offer prayers. This temple of Lord Vishnu is one of the four main abodes of Hindus. Besides offering prayers to Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Jagannath, the West Bengal Chief Minister witnessed the ‘Bana Bandha’ (tying the flag atop the temple) ritual.
Mamta had also seen this ritual during her last visit to the temple. The temple administration received him at Singh Dwar. An employee said that there was no plan to keep the temple closed for other devotees during the visit of the VVIP devotee. He said that security was provided to him inside the temple. The official said that after Mamta Banerjee’s darshan, the temple was kept closed for four hours for “Shrimukh Shringar”.
During this the idols were cleaned and a coating of organic colors was applied on them. As per the ‘Record of Rites’ of the temple, this special ritual is performed on ‘Pratipada Tithi’ in the month of Chaitra. Datta Mohapatra’s attendants performed this ritual between 5 pm and 9 pm, during which time public darshan remained closed, as it is considered an occult activity.
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