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Narendra Modi speaks in Odia

Gujarat Chief Minister and chairman of BJP national campaign committee Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited the Sri Gundicha Temple to have a darshan of Lord Jagannath and His siblings. After spending around half an hour there, he came to Puri temple to have a darshan of the Goddess Bimala, Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesh.

His family priest Raghunath Gochhikar and other priests accompanied Modi to the temple. On his way to Puri, Modi stopped for five minutes at Sakhigopal and paid tribute at the statues of Pancha Sakha in an apparent bid to appeal to the sentiments of Odias.

After coming out of the temple, Modi struck an emotional chord with the people of Odisha by addressing media persons in Odia outside the Jagannath temple. He read out Odia from a handout written in Devnagari script. Modi said he was overwhelmed at catching a glimpse of the deities.

While Modi said he sought the blessings of Lord Jagannath for the prosperity of the nation, his priest Raghunath Gochikar, who solemnized the puja for him at both temples, said, “I prayed to the deities to bring BJP back in power. I also prayed for the wellbeing of Modiji.”

“Odias sweated out for the development of Gujarat,’’ Modi told reporters in chaste Odia, after performing puja at Sri Gundicha temple and Sri Mandir in Puri. What seemed to be a religious visit to the State, Modi did not waste time to take potshot at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his lack of knowledge of Odia. At every given opportunity, he spoke in Odia before he reverted to Hindi, thus making it clear that though a total stranger to the local language, he can master Odia faster than his Odisha counterpart.

Stating that he came from Somnath to Jagannath dham to seek the blessings of the deities for the overall development of the country, Modi harped on many similarities between Odisha and Gujarat. “You have a Sun temple at Konark where the first sunray touches the magnificent edifice, whereas the Sun temple at Modera in Gujarat gets the last sunray,” said Modi, who came for an eight-hour visit to the State.

Though Modi’s darshan in the temple was incident-free, his cavalcade, consisting of 15 vehicles, had to wade through knee-deep waterlogged Grand Road because of heavy rains since morning. Rains, however, stopped a few minutes before Modi arrived at the beach town.
Narendra Modi Odisha Visit Photo
Modi affirmed that Odisha and Gujarat share a strong bond in different areas. Saying that Lord Jagannath had always blessed Gujarat and its people, Modi showered heaps of praise on the people of Odisha, residing in Gujarat. “The people of Odisha have immensely contributed to Gujarat’s economic development. There would be no block or tehsil in Odisha which has not sent its people to Gujarat,” Modi said.

He added that both Odisha and Gujarat are coastal states, having been blessed with the magnificent sun temples of Konark and Modhera. He thanked the skilled manpower and the traditional aesthetic sense of Odisha’s artisans who have made Surat’s textile industry the best in the world.

After having darshan of the deities in the two temples, Modi went to the palace of Puri Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb, where both had discussions for about 10 minutes. Neither Modi nor Deb elaborated on the discussion.

Later, Modi spent nearly half-an-hour with Shankaracharya of Gobardhan peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati. The Shankaracharya advised Modi to work sincerely for the development of the country as no other political party is working for the nation’s development.

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