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BJP leader Sambit Patra to observe ‘ Upvaas’ after gaffe over PM Modi

BJP leader Sambit Patra to observe ‘ Upvaas’ after gaffe over PM Modi

New Delhi: BJP leader Sambit Patra shot himself in the foot when he suggested that Lord Jagannath, the revered deity of the ancient town of Odisha's Puri, is a devotee of PM Modi.

The gaffe quickly whipped up responses from the BJP’s political rivals with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) terming it an insult to Lord Jagannath.

‘Calling Mahaprabhu a bhakt of another human being is an insult to the Lord. This has hurt the sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannatha bhaktas and Odias across the world,’ Naveen Patnaik said on social platform X.

Patra made it clear that the remark, which he had made during PM Modi’s roadshow in the city, was a slip of the tongue while highlighting PM Modi's devotion to Lord Jagannath.

The BJP leader said that he had mistakenly stated, "Jagannath is Modi's bhakt’, which quickly stirred up a controversy, forcing him to announce a period of "upvaas" (fasting) in atonement.

Patra said he made the remarks while talking to media channels during the roadshow and it was noisy and extremely hot, adding that instead of highlighting PM Modi’s devotion to the deity, he said the opposite.

‘Unknowingly, while giving the byte, I said the opposite. Mahaprabhu is a devotee of PM Narendra Modi. This can never be true, and a person in his senses can never say such things that god is a devotee of a human. I have made this mistake unintentionally. I know some people must have been hurt but even god forgives mistakes made unintentionally... I need to seek forgiveness from Mahaprabhu Jagannath for this slip of the tongue and I have decided to do a 'upvaas'," Patra said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the statement suggests the dangerous level of self-aggrandisement within the party.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Patra's statement a height of arrogance and an "insult to God".

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