Pradeep Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday finally broke his silence and tried to put an end to the controversy surrounding 'Shraddha’, who accompanied him to the Vatican City.

In a statement in the Odisha Assembly, Patnaik said, "Shraddha is his physiotherapist. He also said that his sister late Gita Mehta had sent her to take care of his physical fitness."   

In his response, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jayanarayan Mishra said the Chief Minister has tried to take them on a ride. 

“Now, do we go to heaven to get what the CM said and get it verified with Gita Mehta? Why he has brought her from Goa? Are there no physiotherapists in Odisha? He is terming us as anti-people inside and outside the Legislative Assembly. But who is more anti-people than the CM,” Mishra questioned.

Earlier, LoP Mishra and BJP MP Basant Panda had raised several questions like - who is Shraddha and why she accompanied the Chief Minister on his Vatican City trip.

Today, BJP’s Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi too wished to know about ‘Shraddha’. 

Taking to her X handle, Sarangi wrote, “When Leader of Opposition, Jaynarayan Mishra & senior MP, Sri @basantpandabjp ask abt a MYSTERIOUS WOMAN accompanying CM to the Vatican and the reasons for her unhindered access to Naveen Nivas, they are described as ‘mad’ by BJD spokesmen!.”

In another tweet, she said, “There are media reports suggesting that she could be a nurse or therapist.  If this were true, this is even more concerning and the CM of an important State cannot be left to private and secretive treatment. Who selected this therapist? What kind of therapy is going on?”

In another tweet, Sarangi said, “Is it by design that CM is kept isolated from other politicians & bureaucrats? When was the last time that Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner had one to one meeting with the CM? Who is providing intelligence briefing to the CM? Does CM know what is going around in Odisha?”

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