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Cry Over Lord Funds


Odisha Legislative Assembly was adjourned multiple times as Members of the Opposition Congress created a ruckus, seeking explanation from the State Government for transfer of Shree Jagannath temple's Rs 545- crore funds in a private bank.

As the Odisha House made obituary references to three of its deceased Members, the Congress Lawmakers led by Santosh Singh Saluja trooped in the Well of the House, raising 'Jai Jagannath' slogans and demanding stringent action against officers responsible for depositing the temple's money in the now-cash-starved bank.

Mr.Saluja demanded reply form Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and a high-level probe into the circumstances leading to transfer of the Lord Jagannath's money from a Nationalized Bank to Yes Bank.

The agitating Congress members were soon joined by BJP MLAs, who stood up from their seats to support the demand.

Unable to run the House, Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro adjourned the House -- first from 10.42 am to 12.30 pm, then till 3 pm and finally for the day -- as the Members refused to budge.

Mr.Patro also said that he will allow a discussion on the issue on Thursday. Adjournment Motion has been placed in the House for discussion over the issue.

Outside the House, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik said the BJD government violated the provisions of Shree Jagannath Temple Act by depositing the Lord's money in a private bank.

"We demand strict action against the officers responsible for the transfer of Lord's money to a private bank. Not just the Lord's money, the officers have defied rules and deposited other government funds, too, in private banks," Mr.Naik told Media.

Saffron Member Bishnu Sethi alleged that there was a kickback of Rs 3 crore involved in the deposit of Lord Jagannath's funds in Yes Bank.

Congress Member Mr.Saluja said the Chief Minister should make a statement in the House to clarify what would be the fate of the funds.

 Meanwhile, sources in BJD said that four party MPs - Prasanna Acharya, Sasmit Patra, Amar Patnaik and Achyut Samanta -- on Wednesday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi and sought her immediate intervention for "safe release" of the temple's money in Yes Bank.

"We have apprised Nirmala Sitharaman ji of the situation. She assured us that the Lord's funds will be taken care of," BJD MP Prasanna Acharya said.

With moratorium of withdrawing only Rs.50,000 per depositor  placed on Yes Bank by RBI, hue and cry is being raised in the state about fate of the huge deposits of shri Mandir..
 
 


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