Puri/Bhubaneswar: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Odisha, on Wednesday visited Jagannath temple in Puri and offered prayers for the welfare of all.
She offered prayers to Lord Jagannath, goddess Bimala, Mahalaxmi and other deities in the shrine.
A flag offered by Banerjee was raised on the 214-foot high ‘Nilachakra’, on the top of the Jagannath temple while the existing flag was offered to her, said a temple priest.
She said she has prayed for the health and well-being of the people of West Bengal, Odisha and all.
Banerjee is an ardent devotee of Lord Jagannath and had visited the Puri temple in 2017. During the 2021 West Bengal polls, a group of priests from the Puri temple had performed a yagna at her residence in Kolkata.
Earlier in the day, she made a field visit to a proposed site identified by the Odisha government for the construction of a guest house for the accommodation of West Bengal tourists visiting Jagannath Dham.
The site is at Sipasarubali near the site earmarked for the Puri international airport.
“I have seen the land identified for the guest house. I liked the land. New airport is also coming here and a bridge will also be constructed here. So, it will be one of the best locations in Puri,” the Chief Minister told reporters.
A large number of tourists from West Bengal are visiting Puri at least five times a year. Sometimes, like Rath Yatra and long holiday periods, they are unable to get proper accommodation here. So, it will help them, she said.
Asked about the agenda behind her meeting with Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik, she said: “I have met Naveenji earlier too. During the Hockey World Cup, I was invited. At that time, I told the Minister that I will meet the CM whenever I visit Odisha.”
“So, it is a courtesy meet and we will discuss developmental issues and about the proposed guesthouse,” she said.
Odisha Chief Secretary P K Jena said: “The West Bengal CM had requested the Odisha government to provide land for construction of a Niwas for West Bengal devotees and tourists in Puri. We have identified a parcel of land for the construction of Bhawans by different States. We have shown her the land.”
The details about the land to be allocated will be decided during the meeting between the two Chief Ministers on Thursday, he said.
(With IANS Inputs)