Bhubaneswar: BJP MLAs on Saturday staged a protest in the Odisha Assembly over Sri Jagannath Temple Administration's (SJTA) decision of restricting devotees to have glimpse of the deities on 'Nabajoubana Darshan' on July 17, a day before the Ratha jatra.
The devotees used to get opportunity to have darshan of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on 'Nabajoubana Darshan' day.
This time, however, the SJTA decided to restrict the devotees on 'Nabajouban Darshan' apprehending rush inside the temple.
BJP members led by Rabinarayan Naiak, Bibhuti Harichandan and Pradip Purohit stormed into well of the House and raised slogans against the decision.
They also demanded the Speaker's ruling over the matter.
The members alleged that the decision had hurt the religious sentiments of lakhs of devotees.
"This is for the first time that the SJTA has broken the age old tradition by denying devotees of their rights to have darshan of the Lord Jagannath on Nabajouban Darshan Day," said Pradip Purohit demanding a ruling from the chair.
Participating in the debate, ruling BJD member Amar Satpathy said that the state government did not have any role in it.
The SJTA had decided to restrict the devotees on Nabajobana Darshan day. The SJTA could reconsider its decision, Satpathy said.
The agitating BJP members, however, returned to their seats after Speaker Niranjan Pujari said that the state government had taken note of their sentiments over the matter.