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Odisha’s new BJP govt opens all 4 gates of Jagannath temple: Why were they closed?

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Just hours after assuming office, Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Manjhi got into work mode on Thursday and his first order of business was to open all four gates of Puri’s Jagannath Temple for devotees.

The doors of the temple opened in the hours of Wednesday with Manjhi, some of his cabinet ministers as well as the BJP MP from Puri, Sambit Patra, present to witness the event.

“We had proposed to open all the four gates of Jagannath Temple in yesterday’s cabinet meeting. The proposal was passed and today at 6:30 am, I along with my MLAs and Puri MP (Sambit Patra) attended the ‘Mangala aarti’,” Manjhi said after the gates were opened. 

By opening all gates of the temple for devotees the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has fulfilled its poll promise. The party won 78 out of 147 assembly seats in the state, putting an end to Biju Janata Dal’s 24-year-long rule.

Why were the temple doors closed?

The doors of Jagannath Temple were closed for devotees for the first time in view of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The four doors of the temple are Simhadwara (Lion Gate), Ashwadwara (Horse Gate), Vyaghradwara (Tiger Gate), and Hastidwara (Elephant Gate).

However, only one door was opened to the public in December 2020. While everything else got back to normal four years later, the three doors of the temple continued to remain shut.

Another reason why the doors were kept closed was to facilitate the various beautification schemes inside the temple under the Heritage Corridor Plan.

Other schemes announced by state govt

The Mohan Charan Manjhi government has also announced a slew of projects to keep the 12th-century shrine’s development afloat.

“During the elections, we had said that we would reopen all 4 gates… All four gates of the temple are going to be opened today. All members of the Council Ministers are present here. The CM is also present… A corpus fund worth Rs. 500 crores has also been announced for development projects… We took the oath yesterday and we are opening the gates today,” Odisha minister Suryabanshi Suraj said.

Apart from this, the government will also set a minimum support price (MSP) for paddy at Rs 3,100 per quintal. The scheme will be implemented within the first 100 days of governance.

Meanwhile, women will receive Rs 50,000 cash vouchers under the Subhadra Yojana.

Source: Firstpoint

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