Pinaki Mishra, the ruling Biju Janata Dal MP from Puri, on Wednesday found himself in a spot when reporters found Rs. 200 notes in the kits provided to them in a press meet being addressed by him.
Taking affront, the scribes put the currency notes on Mishra’s table and left the venue in protest. They later lodged a complaint with Puri police.
Puri superintendent of police Ashish Singh admitted they have received a complaint. “I have asked my officers to inquire the matter,” he said.
“Putting currency notes in the media kit is an insult to journalists. The sad part is it was the government officials who distributed the kits,” local journalist Jagannath Bastia said.
Mishra, who was addressing the press in the temple town as the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development, regretted the incident and said he had no idea about the currency notes in the kits. “I condemn it. I will ask the organizers of the press meet to take strongest possible action against those behind the irresponsible act. No one should be spared for his attempt to lower the dignity of the forth estate,” he said.
The press meet was organised by a nationalized bank.
Condemning the incident, leader of the opposition and senior Congressman Narasingha Mishra said it reflected the ruling party’s character. “The BJD has brazenly tried to use money power in whatever it does,” he said.