Pradhan rubbishes President Kovind harassment reports, corners Odisha CM

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], June 29 (ANI): Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday refuted the reports of President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita allegedly being harassed by servitors of the Jagannath Temple during their visit. Pradhan told the media that he too was present at the temple during President Kovind and First Lady's visit and no such incident was happened. Stating that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is playing dirty politics, Pradhan also sought Patnaik's clarification on the matter. "BJD's Pratap Dev said President Kovind's wife was misbehaved with on her visit to Jagannath temple. I was there too and I think there was no such incident. No letter has been issued in this regard by President Office. The state government is playing dirty politics, Chief Minister should clarify," Pradhan said. Yesterday, the temple priest, Damodar Mahasuar who accompanied President Kovind and his wife Savita too rubbished the reports and told ANI that no one misbehaved with President Kovind and his wife during the visit. According to media reports, a group of 'Pandas' (servitors) had blocked President Kovind's way near the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine and shoved the First Lady, Savita. On March 19, Rashtrapati Bhavan had reportedly sent a letter to the Puri collector, Aravind Agarwal expressing dissent over the conduct of servitors. (ANI)
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