Caught in the Madhu Koda tangle, actress Koena Mitra is on the backfoot.
She is denying charges that she was paid Rs 50 lakh to be the ‘face of Jharkhand’ to promote tourism by the former Jharkhand chief minister who is now caught in Rs 2,500 crore corruption scandal. “I don’t know Koda personally and was never the face of Jharkhand.”
Mitra says, “I have no contract or even an invitation from the government to endorse Jharkhand. It’s not a chocolate or a jewellery advertisement which can be discussed over the phone. If I was the face of the state, there would have be been a contract taken care of and as of now there is nothing.”
While she admits that some officials have spoken to her manager, the actress says that she is not worried about being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate or the police. “I will fully cooperate with them. I have met Madhu Koda only once at a political rally. I was chosen because I am a Bengali and I can speak Bangla fluently. And I didn’t even ask for money from the state administration. But later they gave me a gift pack with a shawl, chocolates and a token money of Rs 3,11,000 as a goodwill gesture.”
She further adds, “On another occasion last year, I spoke to media inviting foreign tourists to see West Bengal and Jharkhand.”