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
- Panel discussion on clashes at JNU over Afzal Guru row
- JNU students call terrorist Afzal Guru a martyr amid anti-nationalist slogans
- DNA: JNU students clash over Afzal Guru row
- Panel discussion on clashes at JNU over Afzal Guru row- Part II
- PM Modi breaks protocol to receive Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Al Nahyan
- Drunk girl creates ruckus in Delhi's Connaught Place; arrested - Watch
- JNU erupts over 'Shaheed Afzal Guru', 'Azad Kashmir'; rival student groups clash, police deployed
- AAP poster showing Arvind Kejriwal with Bhindranwale sparks row in Punjab
- Video of Hanumanthappa's rescue that went viral on social media is fake - Watch
- Paid sex: Good or bad? This girl was too eager to find out - Watch what happened!