Hindi playback and pop singer Sona Mohapatra has accused a bureaucrat of trying to 'create pressure' on her to meet him at his official residence during her visit to Kota for a performance at the National Kota Dushera Mela on October 30.
Mohapatra posted an open letter to IAS officer JC Mohanty, on her Facebook page, referring to him as Commissioner Kota. Mohanty is presently Principal Secretary, PWD.
In the letter, Mohapatra wrote that she was ill-treated in Kota by a bureaucrat and his wife during her visit for performance at the Cine Night of Kota Dushera Mela.
Mohaptra alleged that she reached Kota's Ummed Bhawan Palace at 5pm of 30th October, where she was to reside during her visit. Though she did not have time even for a sound check, she was asked by the organisers to go and meet Mohanty at the commissioner's bungalow.
She added this was not a part of her agreed schedule and she had come to Kota only to perform but when the organisers pleaded, she asked them to arrange a meeting post show in the hotel lounge.
This too was not acceptable by the bureaucrat. The organisers pressurised Sona to meet the bureaucrat who supposedly sent threatening message to her to let her do an event ever again in Rajasthan but Sona stood her ground and reached the stage at the Dussera Mahotsav.
Asked about his name being dragged into the controversy, Mohanty said "I was not at the event. I think it was a mix-up and she got confused. My son clarified to her and she has apologised."
Mohapatra also tweeted about the incident. She wrote, "That this gentleman and his wife who welcomed me with bouquets on stage had a grim face on stage and in the audience is true, identity, not sure."
She added, "What I can be wrong in is that it was not Mr Mohanty and his wife on stage but the commissioner of Kota instead. I wouldn't know anyone by face."
She said she smiled and tried to explain her position and health to the bureaucrat whom she referred to as an "ungracious host".
Giving an account of what followed, she said, "The night progressed with drunk personnel at the hotel banging on our doors. My hiding another lady musician in the bathroom and our eventual escape in the middle of the night."
Divisional commissioner of Kota, Ashwini Bhagat too denied that he was present at the event or had pressurized Mohappatra to meet him at his residence in Kota.
Expressing surprise at the allegations, he said, "I did not go to the Kota Dushera Mela to see Sona'a performance nor did I pressurise her to meet me".
He said that there must be some sort of confusion in the mind of the artist. The organiser Sandeep Singh of Top Class event management company said Mohapatra's allegations were baseless and it was just a publicity stunt.
"We had just asked her to meet some guests in the hotel."