Mayurbhanj: Odisha's Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marandi on Friday drew flak for calling himself "God" and equating Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with Lord Jagannath.
Marandi's remark, which has offended the servitors of Haribaldev Jew temple at Baripada, is being circulated widely on social media.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Marandi said that the servitors, who had begun a 'padayatra' (foot march) from Baripada to Naveen Niwas (Bhubaneswar) for the fulfilment of their eight demands, should have held a meeting with him first. Notably, the march was later withdrawn.
The Bangiriposi MLA had actually implied that since he is their elected leader, the servitors should have met him first. And even if their issues were not taken care of, they should have met the Odisha Chief Minister.
Registering strong protests against Marandi's statement, servitors of Haribaldev Jew temple, Kameswar Tripathy and Arun Mishra, said the MLA will be "punished by Lord Jagannath".
Baripada MLA Prakash Soren too hit out at Marandi, saying the minister has become arrogant. "This is not right. A person cannot be a god. People are very poor here. They do not even get basic medical facilities. How can he call himself God? He has become arrogant," Soren said while speaking to ANI.