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Devbrat Patnaik

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Seeking an apology once again for his ‘derogatory’ remarks on the Konark Sun Temple, Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra today stated that he will appear in person before the Odisha Assembly on October 23.

Reiterating that he will be cooperating in the investigation process, Mitra, while speaking to news agency ANI said, “I would like to thank the Assembly for extending the period in which I couldn’t come because of the cyclone and all the planes getting cancelled. I would also like to state that I will be always cooperating with any investigation anytime anywhere which has been my stance from day one. I will be standing in front of the Assembly on October 23,” he said.

On former MP Jay Panda, Mitra made it clear that he and the former MP are not friends rather they know each other as social acquaintances.  “I don’t really know Mr Jay Panda. I have only met him twice at best. All I can say is I don’t really know him; it’s more like social acquaintances.”

Iyer also said, “I never thought a helicopter ride would get me in that much trouble.”

Speaking about the ‘objectionable remarks’ on  Konark Sun Temple, he stated, the intent of the video was never to hurt the sentiments of the people. “If I have hurt any sentiments, I apologise for that unreservedly. But the intent of the video was never to hurt anybody’s sentiments,” he said.

“I have realised that it's probably best thing that when on a public platform, you need to keep quiet and be more reflective and mature about what you say,” Iyer added.

Asked on his abusive Twitter posts, Iyer stated, “My Twitter account is more for fun and I don't use it as a professional account. If you actually read my research writing, you will see that a lot of it is always praising Odisha and I will continue to do so. Some of the nastier things I said about the CM, his office, the Assembly, I was under immense stress and so I would like to apologise for that.”

It may be mentioned here that Iyer had failed to turn up before the House Committee constituted by Odisha Assembly to probe breach of privilege motion moved against him.

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