A touching scene that moved a million hearts…

Bhubaneswar: A touching scene at Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra festival in Odisha’s pilgrim city Puri has gone viral on social media.

Former chief minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik who would appear as the top most guest at the festival for the last 23 years – from 2000 to 2023 — and sit on the VVIP stand, on Sunday visited Puri like any other common devotee.

Before his arrival at the Bada Danda or Grand Road of Puri where the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra were kept ready roll after completion of initial rituals, President Droupadi Murmu, Odisha governor Raghubar Das, chief minister Mohan Charan Majhi, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and many other dignitaries had taken their seats in the VVIP stand.

Naveen, who is now Leader of Opposition in Odisha Legislative Assembly following his party’s loss of power to the BJP in the recently held assembly elections, reached Puri in the morning. He went near the VVIP stand and looked up at the guests with folded hands in a bid to pay his respect to the President Murmu, CM Majhi and other dignitaries.

As soon as Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan noticed Naveen, he rushed down from the stand. He requested the five-time CM to take a seat with them. In fact, he led Naveen to the pedestal.

Naveen appeared gleeful as he climbed the stage. The dignitaries stood up, paying their respect to the 77-year-old politician. The crowd cheered as Naveen waved at them, flashing a smile on his face.

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