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Stop political blame game, collectively ensure reforms at Puri Temple: Dilip Ray tells parties


Bhubaneswar, June 13, 2018: Amid the ongoing blame game between the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP over missing keys of the Puri Jagannath Temple’s treasury also known as Ratna Bhandar, senior BJP leader Dilip Ray on Wednesday appealed to the political parties refrain from indulging in the political blame-game as it is in no way a solution to the issue.

“Politicising the issue of missing keys of Ratna Bhandar of Jagannath Temple is going to take us nowhere. When the issue in question in such a sensitive one and is deeply attached with the religious sentiments of the people of the State, the political parties must refrain from indulging in the political blame-game as it is in no way a solution to the issue,” said Ray in his Facebook page.

Appreciating that Puri Sankaracharya Nischalanand Saraswati’s call for all major political parties of the State to collectively push for introducing reforms in 12th century shrine, Ray said, “Introducing comprehensive reforms measures in the 12th Century shrine is the need of the hour.”

Notably on April 26, in response to a question of the Rourkela MLA, the Law Minister had informed the house that Puri Shree Mandir Ratna Bhandar contains 12,831 Bhari gold ornaments, 22,153 Bhari silver utensils and other puja items.

Ray said this data was based on the list that was prepared in the year 1978 between May 5 and May 23 after an assessment. He had further admitted that for obvious reasons 14 valuable items of Ratna Bhandar were not evaluated at that point of time.

“Now this unfortunate incident missing keys has necessitated a re-assessment of the Ratna Bhandar so as to ward off the deepening apprehensions among the masses that some of the precious jewellery may have gone missing in these 40 years,” said the BJP MLA.

When the key of Ratna Bhandar is missing, State Government should take appropriate step to cause the inventory of Ratna Bhandar with the assistance of Magistrate as per law and without any loss of further time make the necessary announcement regarding properties. That apart necessary steps be taken to safeguard all movable and immovable properties, added he.

Given the high significance and sensitivity of the issue, the State Government should ensure that the Enquiry Commission instituted to probe this issue of ‘missing keys’ as well as ‘reforms in the shrine and submit their report within the stipulated period.

This apart, Ray suggested that a Commission should also be constituted to suggest measures for improving the #security of the temple and the safety of the devotees.

He also requested the State Government to implement the directives of the recent Supreme Court regarding smooth management of the temple affairs in letter and spirit.

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