Bhubaneswar: The Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Odisha Legislative Assembly Jaya Narayan Mishra has urged Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik to allow two days of local holidays in Western Odisha for observance of the Nuakhai Juhar festival.
The Senior BJP Leader, in a letter to the Odisha CM, appraised that the Nuakhai festival is observed in the month of September every year in Western Odisha for a week-long period but the state government has declared only one day government Holiday on the 1st of September, 2022.
Stating that the only one-day govt holiday is mere injustice to the people of Western Odisha, LoP Jaya Narayan Mishra said that although the Govt. of Odisha has officially declared 1st September 2022 as Nuakhai Holiday. But the District Administration is not allowing the Govt. employees / general public to observe this festival for two days.
“You are well aware that “Nuakhai” festival is observed in Western Odisha in a great way. As the festival of Nuakhai is observed in Sambalpur, Bargarh, Kalahandi and other adjacent Districts of Western Odisha, just after the rainy season and the first crop of the villagers is produced before Maa Samalei, Maa Manikeswari and other local temples as Prasad in a traditional way. So friends, relatives and family members rush to Western Odisha from all over the country to celebrate the occasion in a grand way. All the family members take Prasad under one roof and take blessings of the elderly members of their respective families. Those who are staying outside Odisha on jobs or doing business etc. also rushed to their own motherland to observe this festival. As a tradition, nowadays this function is also being celebrated in abroad, where people of Western Odisha are staying but could not make it convenient to come to Odisha to observe Nua Khai. Even in the last few years “Nua Khai Bhet Ghat” is also observed in various parts of New Delhi. Hon’ble Members of Parliament (both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) are also observing this function,” the letter read.
The LoP urged the Odisha CM to reconsider the number of holidays on the eve of the Nuakhai festival and declare two days of local holidays to observe the Nuakhai festival in Western Odisha as a part of their rituals.
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