Temple priest upset over non-organisation of Rath Yatra

Ahmedabad, Jun 24 (PTI) The chief priest of Lord Jagannath temple here on Wednesday expressed disappointment over non-organisation of the annual Rath Yatra this year, claiming the one whom he trusted the most had 'failed to deliver'.

Without taking any names, Mahant Dilipdasjee of the Jagannath temple told media persons that 'someone played a game' with him, due to which he could not take out the Rath Yatra procession this time.

With the Gujarat High Court declining to give permission for the traditional procession in public in coronavirus-hit Ahmedabad, a symbolic Rath Yatra was organised in the Lord Jagannath temple premises here on June 23.

'I am upset because I failed to take out the Rath Yatra procession this time. It seems that someone played a game with us.

'I had put immense trust on someone who ultimately failed to deliver' the chief priest said.

For the first time in 143 years, chariots of Lord Jagannath, brother Balram and sister Subhadra did not came out of the 400-year-old temple on the occasion of Rath Yatra, a popular religious event in Gujarat.

Taking a jibe at the BJP government over Dilipdasjee's comments, the opposition Congress alleged the ruling party has now 'deceived' the God.

'When the High Court stayed the procession for the first time, people as well as Mahant were confident that the state government would do something.

'But, it (the BJP government) failed to live up to the expectations of people,' said the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Paresh Dhanani.

'The BJP has been fooling the people of Gujarat since the last 25 years. Now, the government has started deceiving the God,' the Congress leader added.

In his response, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said the BJP government as well as Chief Minister Vijay Rupani are equally upset.

'Just like Dilipdasjee, I as well as the Chief Minister and the government are also upset because the Rath Yatra was not taken out this time.

'We had approached the High Court on June 22 as soon as the Supreme Court modified its earlier order and allowed the Rath Yatra in Puri with certain conditions,' said Jadeja.

'Citing this (SC) order, we urged the HC to lift its stay on the Rath Yatra here. Though we gave certain assurances, the HC did not gave us permission due to the current coronavirus situation.

'We had put our best efforts but the court maintained that permission can't be given when the city is in red zone,' Jadeja added.

With the HC rejecting state government's plea, a symbolic Rath Yatra was organised inside the temple. PTI PJT PD RSY RSY