Odisha minister seeks complete withdrawal of NMA from two Bhubaneswar temples

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (PTI) Odishas Law minister Pratap Jena Friday demanded that the controversial draft notification of National Monuments Authority (NMA) for the two temples of Bhubaneswar should be completely withdrawn instead of putting them on hold.

Jena said this while reacting to Union Minister Pratap Sarangis statement that the centre has put the NMA bylaws notification for Ananta Basudev temple and Brahmeswar temple in the capital city on hold.

Sarangi said the final decision in this regard will be taken after holding discussion with all the stakeholders.

In a letter to his cabinet colleague from Odisha, Pratap Sarangi, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel had informed him about having asked the officers concerned to keep the proposal on hold.

Jena, however, said that the NMA bylaws had undermined the development works in and around the temples.

'It should not be put on hold but completely withdrawn,' the law minister said.

Earlier, the centre had withdrawn the bylaws for Shree Jagannath temple in Puri after a statewide hue and cry over the NMA communique.

Earlier, Odisha's Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra had also written a letter to the centre requesting him to withdraw the bylaws for two temples of Bhubaneswar in view of conducting a smooth Maha Shivratri festival on March 11.

The chief secretary also said there have been frequent agitations as the draft notification was not withdrawn.

'There is serious apprehension that this will lead to widespread agitation and disturb the daily rituals in the temples.

'This kind of atmosphere in temples is bound to hurt the religious sentiments of lakhs of devotees. The largest congregation of devotees in Ekamra Kshetra will happen on March 11 on the occasion of Maha Shivratri festival,' Mohapatra said.

It is important to have a peaceful atmosphere and full cooperation of servitors for conducting the festival in which lakhs of devotees participate, the chief secretary said. PTI AAM SNS SNS