New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) As the Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Puri Rath Yatra with conditions and asked the Odisha government and the Centre to work in tandem, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the verdict made the day special for all and the entire nation is delighted by the decision.
His response came after a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde noted that the court is willing to modify its June 18 order which put a stay on the Rath Yatra in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rath Yatra is scheduled on June 23.
“Today is a special day for all of us, particularly our Odia sisters and brothers as well as devotees of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath Ji. The entire nation is delighted by the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court to ensure the Rath Yatra goes on,” Shah said in a series of tweets.
“It makes me, as well as crores of devotees across India happy that PM Narendra Modi not only understood the sentiment of the devotees but also initiated consultations which ensured that the great traditions of our land are observed.”
On Sunday evening, Shah said, he spoke to Gajapati Maharaj — the King of Puri– and Shankaracharya of Puri and sought their views on the Yatra as per the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“This morning, I also spoke to the Solicitor General,” Shah said.
Considering the urgency and importance of the matter, the Home Minister said the matter was placed in front of a vacation bench of the Supreme Court and the hearing took place this afternoon, which paved the way for the important decision by the Supreme Court.
While announcing the decision, Chief Justice said that the Jagannath Temple management committee and state government can conduct the Rath Yatra in accordance with the guidelines and directed that the Yatra would be in a very restricted manner without allowing any congregation.
He noted that the state government has the freedom to stop the Rath Yatra, if it observes a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Puri.
The Odisha government agreed to coordinate with the Centre.