Ruckus in Odisha Assembly over height restriction of Durga idols

PTI | Bhubaneswar | Updated: 07-09-2021 22:17 IST | Created: 07-09-2021 22:17 IST
Ruckus in Odisha Assembly over height restriction of Durga idols
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The opposition Congress on Tuesday created a ruckus in the Odisha Assembly over the state government's decision to restrict the maximum height of Durga idols to four feet for community pujas.

The issue was raised in the House during the Zero Hour by Barabari Cuttack's Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim and supported by senior party colleague Suresh Routray.

The Congress MLAs trooped in the well of the House, raising slogans against the government and wondered how the restriction on the Durga idols' height will help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Congress members slammed the government's guidelines which asked the puja committees to cover three sides of pandals and perform rituals by a limited number of priests and organisers.

The BJP legislators also opposed the BJD government's Durga puja norms in view of COVID-19 pandemic and shouted slogans against it.

The agitating MLAs continued to create the ruckus, following which Speaker S N Patro adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

Normalcy, however, returned to the assembly after the speaker said the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the state government for Durga Puja may be reconsidered.

The administration had earlier issued guidelines for festivals, including Durga Puja in October, where it has been categorically stated that the height of the idols should be within 4 feet and the pandals are required to be covered from three sides.

The BJP's Cuttack unit called for a bandh in the city on September 13, opposing the government's decision.

Members of the Cuttack Juba Sangathan (youth organisation) held a demonstration in the Millennium City on Tuesday, alleging that the administration allowed to open malls and cinema halls with full capacity but put restrictions on Durga puja festivals.

Several puja committees of Bhubaneswar submitted a memorandum to the Police Commissioner and requested him to reconsider such directives which tend to dampen the festive mood.

''As the state government took a unilateral decision without holding talks with puja committees, we were forced to call the bandh on September 13,'' senior BJP leader and former minister Samir Dey said.

BJD leader Debashish Samantaray said nobody should politicise the festival issues when the state government is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival guidelines are applicable to all the puja pandals of the state and not Cuttack alone, he said.

Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra and Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena are scheduled to meet members of the Puja committees of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar on Wednesday to resolve the issue.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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