Bhubaneswar: Four days after making mockery of a television journalist in his constituency, Kendrapara MP and leading Ollywood actor Anubhav Mohanty on Friday expressed regret over the incident.
“I have the highest regard for the media. I have always cooperated with the media. But I am saddened by the unfortunate incident with a journalist of OTV that took place in Kendrapara two days ago. It was neither intentional nor had I wanted this incident to happen,” Mohanty said.
He, however, maintained that OTV channel has been after him post the Lok Sabha election.
“In the Lok Sabha election held this year, I was elected from Kendrapara, defeating Baijayant Panda (BJP) by a margin of about 1.5 lakh votes. From then onwards, OTV, which is owned by his family, has been attempting to defame me and tarnish my image and character for which I am deeply hurt. Baijayant babu, I earnestly request you with humility to refrain from such a vilification campaign against me. Kindly don’t harass me in this manner when I am serving the people of my constituency. I am serving the people of Kendrapara and will continue to do so,” the BJD MP said.
Mohanty’s regret, which was released to the media through a video, came in the wake of widespread protests from journalists from across Odisha. On Friday afternoon, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik reacted to the incident. ” I will certainly look into the matter and do the needful,” he told mediapersons in New Delhi.
On October 5, the Kendrapara MP pulled the boom of the OTV reporter Manoj Swain and clapped in full public glare after dragging him in front of the camera, ostensibly to make fun of the journalist. Some of his supporters present were also seen applauding his act. “You ask me one thing and you present it in a different manner,” the MP had told Swain.
Condemning the MP’s act, the Odisha Union of Journalists had demanded his resignation and asked him to tender an apology.
On Thursday, a delegation of journalists met the Home Secretary and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister seeking the latter’s intervention in the matter.