Controversy Erupts Over Social Media Influencer’s Visit to Puri Jagannath Temple
Odisha CM’s close confidant VK Pandian’s decision to host social media influencer Kamiya Jani, known as Curly Tales, at Puri Jagannath Temple has sparked a heated debate in the state. The opposition BJP has accused Jani of being a “beef eater and promoter,” igniting a clash of sentiments and allegations.
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Allegations and Denials
The Odisha unit of BJP accused VK Pandian of disregarding the sanctity of Puri Srimandir by allowing a beef promoter into the revered premises of Jagannath Mandir. The ruling BJD dismissed the claims and countered the BJP’s accusations, labeling them as misinformation. Jani, in a statement, clarified that she has never eaten beef.
Temple Rules and Video Controversy
BJP spokesperson Jatin Mohanty raised objections over Jani’s alleged consumption of beef and her recording of a video with Pandian inside the temple premises, contending that this act has hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha and Hindus in general. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration denied the allegations and stated that the claim of a YouTube influencer entering the shrine with a camera is baseless.
Response and Clarification
Jani, in an Instagram story, expressed her mission to promote Indian culture and heritage, emphasizing that she has never consumed beef. The ruling BJD refuted the BJP’s allegations, stating that no camera had been taken inside the temple and clarifying that the Mahaprasad was served at the Radhaballav Math, as seen in the video.
Counterarguments and Accusations
The BJD highlighted Jani’s previous visits to other temples, including the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, questioning the BJP’s silence on such occasions. Additionally, the BJD targeted the BJP for allegedly being envious of the development of Puri and Jagannath Temple, accusing BJP leaders of attempting to stall the Parikrama Project, a heritage corridor being built around the temple.
Development Project and Allegations
The Parikrama project, with an investment of Rs 800 crore, is set for inauguration on January 17 and aims to provide security and basic amenities to the temple’s daily visitors. The government has created a 75-metre passage on the outer walls of the 12th-century shrine to ensure the safety of the temple premises.
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