Odisha reporters furious, find Rs 200 cash in press kit at BJD MP's event

Bhubaneswar, Nov 13: Mediapersons on Wednesday walked out of the press meet of BJD MP Pinaki Mishra after finding cash in their kit.

Mishra, who was about to address the media at a hotel in Puri as Chairman of the Parliamentary standing committee on Urban Development, however, later expressed ignorance about cash tucked inside media kit.

Before lodging FIRs at the Sea Beach Police Station in Puri, the enraged media contingent placed the currency notes on dais and left the venue shouting.

'We have received two FIRs, one from a group of 15 journalists and another from Sachetan Nagarik Manch, Puri in connection with recovery of Rs 200 each from the kit of reporters and camera persons,' Sea Beach Police Station IIC, Pravas Chandra Sahu said.

He said the police were investigating into the matter. Mishra, when contacted, said 'I will talk to the authorities of a Bank which organised the press meet. I have demanded the strongest possible action against whosoever has done it. Heads must roll for this attempt to lower the dignity of the fourth estate.'

Besides Mishra, local MLA and former minister Maheswar Mohanty and some members of the standing Committee, Urban Development, were also present in the press meet.

'It is a shame for all of us that that there was an attempt to bribe the journalists at the press meet of Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman,' said Jagannath Bastia, President Puri Journalist Association, who first raised the voice in the press meet, said.

Leaders of different parties including Mishra's BJD strongly condemned the incident.

'The incident is entirely in tune with the political culture of the ruling BJD, which has sought to use money power in everything it does,' Congress stalwart and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said.

Senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari said it was a shameful act against the press. 'I demand action against the culprits,' Pujari said.

BJD spokesperson Samir Dash, also demanded a thorough investigation into the incident.

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