Bhubaneswar: Asking Odisha government to ban the practice of climbing chariots and touching the deities during Lord Jagannath`s Rath Yatra at Puri, BJP on Monday said the state has no right to reject the Shankaracharya`s decision regarding religious matters in the 12th century shrine.
The issue was raised by BJP member Basant Panda, while participating in the debate on the motion of thanks on the Governor`s address in the state Assembly.
"I do not understand why the state government is hesitant to accept the Shankaracharya`s decision on the chariot climbing issue. The government had earlier implemented the seer`s decisions on different occasions," Panda, who is also the BJP Legislature Party`s spokesman said.
Dubbing the rejection of Shankaracharya`s decision on the religious matter as an "insult" to four crore people of Odisha, Panda said "The state government has no right to take any decision relating to religious matter. It is the Shankaracharya who is the authority on religious matters."
Panda`s views were supported by Congress law makers.
"It is a sensitive matter. Once I had suggested Biju Patnaik not to climb the chariots during the Rath Yatra. Biju Babu did not climb the chariots on my request," recounted Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress.
Mishra said the chief administrator of the temple should find an amicable way to resolve the dispute.