Puri: In a departure from his practice of
going to the sanctom sanctorum of Shri Jagannath temple to
seek blessings of the presiding deities on the New Year`s day,
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today returned without
having `darshan` soon after entering the shrine premises.
Clad in his regular spotless white kurta and pyajama,
Patnaik entered the 12th century shrine through the
`Singhadwar` (Lion`s Gate) and started climbing the famous
`Baisi Pahacha` (22 steps) of the temple.
While climbing the steps, Patnaik did not allow
ministers and supporters in close proximity and was heard
saying "...Where is the SP (Superintendent of Police)? Who is
SP here?", sources in the temple administration said.
The SP A N Sinha immediately appeared before Patnaik
and vacated the area, sources said adding the local MLA and
Panchyatiraj minister Maheswar Mohanty was seen at a distance
as also other leaders and supporters.
Patnaik stopped at the seventh step and prayed with
folded hands there. Then he went out of the temple complex and
proceeded towards `Swargadwar`, the cremation ground on the
sea beach, to pay homage to his father and former Chief
Minister Biju Patnaik at his statue `Biju Samadhi Pitha`.
Asked why the chief minister did not go into the
sanctom sanctorum, sevayats (servitors) and security personnel
claimed ignorance and said: "Naveen Babu was moving without
the stick he had been holding ever since leg injury he
sustained about two months ago. He might have faced problems
in climbing the stairs without stick".