Bhubaneswar, April 18: Union Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi has requested Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to issue instructions to the authorities to hold extensive consultations with all stakeholders on the nature and scale of the Rath Yatra this year.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Sarangi requested to direct the authorities to hold discussions with Puri Gobardhan Peetha Shankaracharya, Gajapati Maharaj, Sevayats and other involved persons on the nature and scale of the Rath Yatra this year.
The letter, which was released to the media on Saturday, came in the wake of Covid-19 in the state.
He said the holy Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings in Puri has a deep and abiding emotional connect with the people of Odisha and devotees of Lord Jagannath across the world.
It has been shaping the unique cultural identity of Odisha for ages.
However, media reports on the coronavirus casting a shadow on the Rath Yatra have been deeply disturbing for the people of Odisha and also millions of devotees across the world, the Minister said.
“Rath Yatra, which is to begin on 23 June 2020, is certainly going to be affected by it, in terms of level of public enthusiasm and scale of participation. I sincerely believe that amidst restrictions, the festival should be organised as per the age-old divine traditions,” said Sarangi. (IANS)