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Naveen dons farmer’s role

Priests performing rituals ahead of ‘Chandan Yatra’ in Bindusagar lake adjacent to Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. —

Priests performing rituals ahead of ‘Chandan Yatra’ in Bindusagar lake adjacent to Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty

Prafulla Das

BHUBANESWAR: For Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Thursday was quite a different day as farmers across the State observed the auspicious day of Akshaya Trutiya to mark the beginning of the farming season.

The Chief Minister used the occasion to don the role of a farmer in a remote village. His government celebrated the day as Farmers’ Day.

Like in the previous years, Mr. Patnaik observed Akshaya Trutiya and Farmers’ Day by doing the ceremonial ploughing in the fields in Nagiapasi village under Sadar Block of Dhenkanal district.

Biju Janata Dal Member of Parliament from Dhenkanal Tathagat Satpathy and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The leaders also sowed seeds in the fields in the presence of a large number of farmers belonging to Nagiapasi and nearby hamlets. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister highlighted the measures his government had initiated for the benefit of the farm community. The government was celebrating the year as Year of Irrigation with a view to increasing the irrigation cover to enhance the agriculture potential of the State, Mr. Patnaik said. The diversification of crop and increased application of technology in agriculture would go a long way in helping the farm community in the State, he added.

Mr. Satpathy expressed the hope that the observance of Krushak Divas in the State would surely encourage the farmers. The farmers should take benefit of the schemes that were meant for their welfare, he said. Farmers of the State, like in many other States in the country, ceremonially started sowing of the seeds in their fields. The ritual is called `Akhi Muthi’ or `Muthi Chhuan’.

Celebration time

The occasion also marked the beginning of the 21-day Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannath. The festival is the time when Lord Jagannath and his accompanying deities go round the Narendra tank in a boat.

Further, the construction of the three chariots for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra to be used in the annual Rath Yatra in July also started in Puri on the occasion of Akshaya Trutiya.

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