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Lord Jagannath gaffe: BJP leader Sambit Patra to offer penance by observing 3-day fast

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Shillong, May 21: Amid continuous attack by political parties over his Lord Jagannath gaffe, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson and Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra on Tuesday apologised for the “slip of the tongue” and announced to observe a three-day fast to offer penance.

“I will observe fast for three days to repent for the unintentional remark due to the slip of tongue,” Patra said in a video message on X.

“I am deeply pained by my mistake regarding Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath Ji. I bow down at the feet of Mahaprabhu Sri Jagannath Ji and seek forgiveness,” he posted.

Patra, during an interview with a local television channel on Monday, remarked that Lord Jagannath is a devotee (bhakt) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Patra’s remark drew strong criticism with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) calling it an insult to Lord Jagannath and Odias across the world.

“The Lord is the greatest Symbol of Odia Asmita. Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is totally condemnable. I strongly denounce the statement made by the BJP Puri Lok Sabha candidate and I appeal to the BJP to keep the Lord above any political discourse. By this you have deeply hurt Odia Asmita and this will be remembered and condemned by people of Odisha for a very long time,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik posted on X on Monday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the statement by calling it the “height of arrogance”. (IANS)

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