Rashmi Rekha Das

You are misleading not only the judicial system of India, but also Odisha and its people, senior BJP leader Sambit Patra said as he lashed out at Puri MP Pinaki Mishra and accused him of lying about the GPR survey on the Jagannath Temple Parikrama project.

Mishra, a leader from the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, has come under intense firing from the Opposition flanks for defending Odisha government's faulty execution of the heritage corridor project.

Hours after reports surfaced about the conduct of the secret GPR survey at the project site by some experts late on Saturday night, Patra today highlighted some earlier statements made by MP Pinaki Mishra in which he had claimed that the GPR enumeration of the corridor project had been completed.

“MP Pinaki Mishra has proved the adage ‘To hide a lie, a thousand lies are needed’ again. After a huge ancient stone sculpture resembling a lion was unearthed during digging and excavation works on the premises of Emar Mutt in Puri recently, we held a press conference and accused the government of not conducting GPRS around the temple before executing deep excavation works for the project construction. However, the government went ahead with the digging works at the site in a hurry to hide the loophole it had conducted," Patra said at a presser today.

"But surprisingly Pinaki Babu, on the other hand, tweeted saying ‘GPRS was duly done. Allegations about digging without doing GPRS are baseless,’ Patra said in his statement while questioning the MP to come out with clarification on his lies.

The MP must come up with an explanation why a team from IIT Gandhinagar was found busy conducting the GPR survey at the project site only in the dead of the night.

While a Joint Inspection team of Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation Limited and the ASI in its affidavit to High Court had made a clear statement which read ‘Digging was done without GPR survey, MP Pinaki you have been exposed lying," Patra said.

The BJP leader further called upon the ASI to clarify if it knows that the GPR survey is going on in Puri in this unscientific manner. If the ASI is not aware about the survey, then it is illegal on part of the Odisha government. So MP Pinaki needs to present factual truths to people instead of launching personal attacks, said Patra.

Bhubaneswar BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi said, 4.5crore Odias know now that Odisha government has been at fault and is trying to cover up its mistakes. If the govt is not afraid, why is it not doing survey during day time? Nobody is against beautification. Let Puri MP be informed about this project in detail first. 

Meanwhile, BJD leader Sulata Deo refuted Sambit Patra's allegations over conduct of the secret GPR survey of Srimandir Parikrama project and said DPR of the site was submitted before the NMA after the conduct of GPR assessment. So, BJP should stop misleading Puri residents & politicising the heritage project.

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra too raised doubts over the reported survey work. The MLA said those who want to hide something, work in the dark. But what is harm in working during the day.

"Why the Assembly House Committee on project is also not working in full public glare? I request Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to personally intervene in the matter. Since no excavation work can be done at the protected monument without ASI's permission, it seems the govt has done something amiss which is evident from the resolution," said Mishra