**Puri:** Senior BJD leader and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout is hogging the headlines once again for the wrong reasons, thanks to his outspokenness. Rout’s ‘opinion’ on Brahmins, which he voiced while addressing a forum at tribal pocket in Malkangiri, has sparked off tension within the sect.
While Rout’s speech which included a line, “you won’t find tribals begging. It is the Brahmins who seek alms,” evoked sharp reactions from different quarters, the Mukti Mandap Brahmin Samaj, Puri, on Thursday demanded the senior minister’s resignation.
“Whatever Damodar Rout meant, or what his intentions were, cannot justify the statement. We condemn his statements and will not allow him to enter Puri Jagannath Temple till he tenders his resignation from the post of Agriculture Minister,” the forum said.
Surya Narayan Rath, a senior member of the Mukti Mandap Brahmin Samaj added, “Being a senior and experienced leader of the State, such kind of statement casting aspersions on a particular sect is not admissible. We will not allow Damodar Rout to cross Bada Danda (The Grand Road) and reach the Singhadwar (Lions Gate).”
The forum has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s intervention into the issue and address the grievance of the Mukti Mandap Brahmin Samaj.