Bhubaneswar (IANS): Media persons Wednesday filed a police complaint and strongly protested when they found Rs.200 each in the press kits distributed at a press conference by BJD’s Puri MP Pinaki Mishra, who immediately feigned ignorance.
After finding the money inside the press kits, the enraged media persons placed the currency notes on the dais and left the press conference midway.
They also filed a police complaint at the sea beach police station.
However, Mishra feigned ignorance about how the money got into the press kits and termed it a “most unfortunate” incident.
“I have absolutely no idea how the money was distributed to the media persons. I express my regret to my media friends. This is most unfortunate. I will ask for action against whosoever has done it. Action must be taken for attempting to lower the dignity of the media,” he said.
The Lok Sabha member was addressing the press conference as a member of the parliamentary standing committee on urban development organised by UCO Bank.
Puri legislator Maheswar Mohanty, who was also present, said some people were trying to politicise the matter by distributing money at the press conference.
The incident was condemned by all political parties, including the ruling Biju Janata Dal.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party lashed out at the BJD for attempting to bribe journalists.
“I strongly condemn the incident. This is a move to belittle the media. The BJD is trying to bribe journalists,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
BJP leader Suresh Pujari said action should be taken against those involved.
BJD spokesperson Samir Dash, however, condemned the act and called for a thorough investigation to find out the truth.