Bhubaneswar: Further intensifying its protest demanding reopening of four gates and Ratna Bhandar of Puri Srimandir, the Congress party today announced that it will organize Tulsi Jatra on 1 December.
Under the Tulsi Jatra tulsi or basil leaves will be collected from houses across 314 blocks of the State and offered to Lord Jagannath in Puri on 1 December through a mass rally on Puri Grand Road, said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Sarat Pattnayak here.
While speaking to reporters about the unique agitation programme, Shri Pattanayak said Tulsi will be collected from common people, Jagannath lovers, senior citizens, devotees, young men and women, students, poor people in all the blocks and cities of the State.
Tulsi will be collected from the villages and panchayats by the block presidents of the Congress and they will send it to the district president. Then, it will be brought to the party’s State headquarters, Congress Bhawan here.
On 1 December from the Congress Bhawan, the holy leaves will be taken to Puri and offered to Lord Jagannath, informed Shri Pattanayak.
The Congress party has been demanding reopening of all four gates of the Puri temple, and the treasures in its ‘Ratna Bhandar’, which has been closed since 1978.
OPCC former president Prasad Harichandan said, “The government has announced to dedicate the Parikrama project to the people on January 17. We demand the government to come up with a white paper mentioning all details about the project for our future generation.”
All details about the Jagannath temple have been recorded in the ‘Madala Panji’. So, for the future generation, the white paper with all details of the project including its objective, how and who has implemented it, its cost, should be published, he demanded.
“As the BJD government is functioning under the 5T (transformative initiative) principle, for transparency (on the 5Ts), the government must publish a white paper on the Parikrama project,” Shri Harichandan said.
The Congress leader also informed the media about the proposed ‘Tulsi Jatra of the OPCC, in which basil leaves will be collected from houses across 314 blocks of the state and offered to Lord Jagannath in Puri, as a mark of protest over alleged mismanagement at the 12th-century shrine.
“We have organised a mass rally in Puri on October 16 and then ‘Sankirtan Satyagraha’ (mass chanting in praise of God accompanied by music) in all the 314 blocks, urban local bodies across the state on November 9. However, the state government remained deaf and blind to the mass protest. So, now the party has decided to hold ‘Tulsi Jatra ’,” he said.
If this protest will also fail to put any impact on the Government, it will create mass awareness among the Jagannath lovers and devotees and the government will be forced to open all four gates of the Jagannath temple and reopening of Ratna Bhandar, Harichandan said.