Bhubaneswar (SunstarTV Bureau): Amid BJP and BJD political brawl, backed by the BJD, the Lingaraj temple servitors claimed that the draft bylaw for Ananta Basudeva temple issued by a Central agency will hinder Shivratri festival at the Lingaraj temple.
“The draft bylaws of the Ananta Basudeva temple are an outcome of the difference of opinion between the BJP and the BJD. If the government doesn’t roll back the draft regulations with immediate effect, it may have an impact on the upcoming Shivaratri rituals. Political game over the matter is playing spoilsport in the development of the temple,” said Biranchi Pati, secretary of Brahmana Nijog.
Notably, under the Union Culture Ministry, last month, the National Monument Authority (NMA), has issued draft bylaws for Jagannath temple of Puri, and Ananta Basudeva and Brahmeswar temples of Bhubaneswar under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010.
As per the draft bylaws, construction activities are prohibited within the first 100 metre radius of the monument and are regulated within the next 200 metres. The draft bylaws, however, are in conflict with the Odisha government’s proposed temple beautification drive in Puri and Bhubaneswar.
In his letter to Centre, the Odisha chief secretary demanded withdrawal of the draft bylaws of Ananta Basudeva temple citing apprehensions of a widespread agitation leading to disturbance in religious rituals.
However, Bhubaneswar BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi accused the Naveen Patnaik government of misleading the people since construction in the close vicinity of monuments protected by the Archaeological Society of India is already banned under the existing Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010.
She further alleged that, the draft bylaws in contention could not have been formulated without the knowledge of the director of the culture department of Odisha.
Earlier, this month, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to Union culture minister Prahallad Singh Patel requesting him to send an expert team from the ASI in Delhi to carry out a detailed study and thorough scientific excavation of the area around Lingaraj temple, which is being developed by the Odisha government. Soon after, a team of BJP leaders visited the site and demanded a halt to the ongoing work in the region till the entire area surrounding the complex is excavated.