Legislators of ruling BJD and opposition Congress on Tuesday demanded action against one Abhijit Iyer Mitra for making derogatory remarks about the Sun Temple in Konark.
As soon as the House assembled at 10:30 am, the BJD members protested against the remarks made by Abhijit Mitra, who is reportedly a friend of former parliamentarian Baijayant Panda.
The ruling party members staged a dharna in the well of the House and later near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the assembly premises.
In a video uploaded on social media, Mr Mitra is seen criticising the famous 13th Century temple.
Stating that Mr Mitra has ridiculed the Sun Temple, BJD MLA Sanjay Dasburma said, "It (Mitra's video) is an insult to the state and its existence. Action should be taken against the man (Mitra)."
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th century monument built by King Narasimhadeva I. It is renowned for the intricate artwork on the walls.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, "There are two video clips which show a non-Odia man standing in front of the Konark Temple making comments."
He said, "It hurts the sentiments of Odisha irrespective of party and religion. He says the art and sculpture are contrary to Hindu culture. This is unwarranted and condemnable."
"Abhijit Mitra should be prosecuted. Contents in the video are enough evidence to prosecute him under the law," Mr Mishra said.
As per information available at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, Mr Mitra flew in along with Mr Panda in a chopper on September 15.
BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo said, "He (Mitra) is not a BJP man."
Speaking on BJD's protest against Mr Mitra's remarks, Mr Singhdeo alleged that it was a diversionary tactic of the ruling party to avoid the alleged cooperative bank scam being raised by the BJP and opposition parties.
BJP member Pradip Purohit also criticised the ruling party and accused it of trying to divert the attention from the alleged scams in the House.
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