Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik has drawn flak for accepting VIP treatment during his visit to Lingaraj Temple here Friday.
As per sources, Patnaik was escorted into the temple’s sanctum sanctorum by a group of servitors although the Sahana Mela Darshan was suspended at that time. Some irate servitors reportedly captured the incident on their mobile phones and later uploaded it on social media.
Official sources said the timing of Sahana Mela Darshan is between 6.30am and 9.30am everyday while the OPCC chief visited the temple after 10am Friday.
“In the temple everybody is equal and no one should be given special treatment. Strict action should be taken against those who violate norms,” said Brahman Nijog Secretary Biranchi Narayan Pati.
Following the controversy Patnaik said he was not aware of the timings. “When I reached there, some servitors took me into the temple and at that time many others were also offering puja inside,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Lingaraj Temple Administration said that an inquiry would be conducted and action taken against the servitors for violating norms.
“The allegations have come to our notice and after an inquiry we will submit a report to the Temple Trust Board for action,” said the Administrative Officer of the Lingaraj Temple Trust Board, Rajiv Lochan Parida.
This is not the first incident of special treatment for VIPs. Earlier, Union Minister Vijay Goel had drawn flak for posting photographs of the sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagruha) of the Lingaraj Temple on Twitter in April.
Recently, Hindi film actress Raveena Tandon too had faced music for shooting an advertisement inside the Lingaraj Temple in March for which she gave a statement on social media.