Shree Jagannath Temple (Image: Shutterstock)
The opposition BJP and Congress on Thursday separately demanded that the government immediately make an inventory of the valuables kept at the Ratna Bhandar (treasure chest) of the Puri Jagannath temple.
The parties alleged that there is a “glaring mismatch” between the figures of the quantity of gold and silver ornaments mentioned by the BJD government in the state assembly and by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in an affidavit in the Orissa High Court.
"We have read the gazette notification and came to know that the details furnished with the high court are based on the inventory made 45 years back, in 1978. Looking at the government’s statement in the assembly and the affidavit, we suspect that the Ratna Bhandar has been looted,” senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty said.
The state government must take immediate steps to open the Ratna Bhandar now instead of waiting for the Rath Yatra next year, he said.
The temple managing committee recently decided to recommend to the Odisha government to allow the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the custodian of the shrine, to reopen and carry out repair work of the Ratna Bhandar during the Rath Yatra next year.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati also demanded immediate opening of the Ratna Bhandar for making the inventory.
"There is a glaring mismatch in the lists of ornaments in Ratna Bhandar. At least 50 kgs of gold and 70 kgs of other ornaments have been missing from there,” Bahinipati claimed.
Puri-based socio-cultural outfit, Jagannath Sena also alleged that the Odisha government provided the weight of the ornaments to the high court in kilograms, whereas the ornaments were weighed in ‘Tola’ (‘Bhari’) during the last inventory, held in 1978.
So as per the difference in weight between Tola and Kilogram, there are 74 kgs less silver as compared to 1978, Sena leader Priyadarshan Pattnaiak claimed.
Ruling BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satapathy said, “The matter is sub-judice. So it will not be proper for us to comment on it.”
(Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed; only the image & headline may have been reworked by www.republicworld.com)