Priests stake claim to accompany President during Jagannath visit
Bhubaneswar: The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration in Odisha on Saturday decided to take the help of Rashtrapati Bhavan to determine which of the two priests claiming themselves as the family priest of President Pranab Mukherjee, would accompany him to the sanctum sanctorum during his visit to the 12th century shrine.
Both priests produced documents before SJTA claiming themselves to be the family priest of the President.
"Two persons have made claims to be the family priest of the President. Since the administration cannot take a decision, we have decided to take the help of Rastrapati Bhavan to sort out the dispute," SJTA chief administrator Aravind Padhee said today.
Claiming himself as the family priest of the President, Madhusudan Pujapanda said he had the records that Mukherjee`s father and grandfather had signed during their visit to the temple in 1891.
"In 1993, Pranabbabu himself had come to Puri on July 17 and signed my `wajira` (a red register maintained by priests). He had also donated Rs 101 to me," Pujapanda said.
Shaym Sunder Gochhikar, another senior priest also showed a document claiming the signature of the President`s mother Rajalaxmi.
"I had accompanied Pranab Babu`s mother when she visted the temple," he said.
Puri priests maintain warijas (registers) with names and addresses of eminent persons like kings, queens, political leaders and famous businessmen who visit the temple, hailing from different districts of West Bengal, Bihar, UP and Jharkhand, said Jogendra Dasmohapatra, a priest.
Former president Pratibha Patil was impressed by the priests preserving visitor records, including the signature of her father dating back to 1931.
This was not for the first time that the temple administration encountered such a problem. The same claim by priests had been made during Pratibha Patil`s visit to Puri on December 9, 2009.
The shrine managing committee had then selected a priest after verifying his documents.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Jamaat-e-Islami chief announces Rs 100 cr reward for PM Modi's arrest
- DNA: Captain Saurabh Kalia's torture at the hands of Pakistani Army
- DNA: Govt tests Maggi noodle samples from all states
- Zee Media exclusive interview with victim of Uber molestation
- Jamaat-e-Islami chief announces Rs 1 billion reward for PM Modi's arrest
- Assam Board (seba.net.in & resultsassam.nic.in): SEBA HSLC / AHM class 10th Results 2015 to be announced today
- Was asked to call Sunanda Pushkar’s death `natural`: AIIMS doctor
- From being the ‘Dabangg’ girl to ‘Akira’ - Sonakshi Sinha’s journey so far
- China ship carrying 458 on board sinks in Yangtze River: Five dead, hundreds missing
- Maggi row: Delhi registers case against Nestle, Kerala withdraws stock from govt stores