Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Monday vehemently criticised senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra for his statement in the House on Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and non-disclosure of Govardhan Mutt’s financial transactions.
Terming the remarks made by him during the discussion on Endowment Amendment Bill brought by the Odisha government in the Assembly on Saturday as ‘derogatory’, they demanded an apology from him.
Addressing mediapersons here, BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, “Swami Nischalananda Saraswati is the Chief of Puri Govardhan Mutt. It is a know fact. Questioning his surname and his educational background is unfortunate and deplorable.”
He said that Narasingha had hurt the sentiments of 4.5 crore Jagannath devotees with his remarks. “He and the Congress party should apologise for undermining Jagannath culture,” he said.
On the other hand, Narasingha accused BJP leaders of doing politics over religious issue.
“The Shankaracharya of Govardhan Mutt has not furnished account (transaction) details to the Endowment Commissioner for past 10 years. The Law Department has mentioned it nowhere that it is exempted from doing so. I just cited Form ‘F’ of the Odisha Hindu Religious Act and Rules and read out the ‘Will’ of the previous Shankaracharya, where he had mentioned that his successor has to adopt the surname of ‘Debatirtha’,” he said.
Has the state government taken note of this? he questioned.
The Congress leader clearly stated that he neither supported nor opposed the autonomous tag to Govardhan Mutt. “These are my personal views and I stand by them. There is no question of apologising for brining the truth to the fore,” he added.