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Complaint filed against Sambit Patra for using Lord Jagannath idol in poll campaign

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 27 March 2019, 9:41 IST

Bhartiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra has landed in legal trouble. BJP’s nominee for Puri Lok Sabha seat, Patra carried an idol of Lord Jagannath in a vehicle during a rally. This has not gone well with a main opposition Party Congress and a section of the temple.

The Odisha Congress has filed a complaint with the state chief electoral officer (CEO) on Tuesday saying Sambit Patra used Lord Jagannath for political benefit and it is a violation of the model code of conduct.

Senior servitor Ramachandra Dasmohapatra said it is against the culture of Odisha. "It is against the culture and tradition of Lord Jagannath to be carried in a vehicle during an election rally," said Dasmohapatra.

However, the BJP has denied the charges saying that the idol was gifted to him during the rally and he only paid his respect to it.

In a petition submitted with the CEO, the Congress said, "In an election rally, Patra showed and held the idol of Lord Jagannath in his hand and used the photographs of the deity in his social media account."

"When it has been mentioned by the Hon'ble ECI that no election can be fought on the basis of any religion, caste, creed or culture, the election rally of Dr Sambit Patra and the photograph thereof clearly shows the violation of model code of conduct," state Congress spokesperson Nishikant Mishra said.

 Sambit Patra, however, rejected the allegation. "Someone gifted me the idol of the Lord during the rally. I held it and paid respect to it. There is nothing wrong in showing respect to my Lord. I am not bothered about what others are saying. Don't link it with elections," he said.

With PTI Input

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First published: 27 March 2019, 9:41 IST