Baijayant rubbishes media report on unspent MPLAD funds

Bhubaneswar: BJD MP from Kendrapara Baijayant Panda has rubbished the report of an Odia vernacular daily that he is at the bottom in the list of Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha when it comes to utilization of MPLAD funds.

Terming the report as wrong, Panda came down heavily on such ‘lazy’ reporting, which did not bother contacting the concerned MP before filing of the news report.

“This is plain wrong! And they would have known better if they had done the basic journalism of cross checking the ‘facts’ they found on some govt website, and at least contacting the MPs whom they’ve named. Those are the basics of journalism!”, Panda said in a Facebook page.

He said the report was taken from government website which is not updated in time. “The reasons for this confusion (apart from lazy journalism) are many, mostly involving delay in govt website updation. Also in my case, I focus on big projects with longer lead times (this is uncommon), so the utilisation updates happen in big surges rather than a steady stream”, the parliamentarian said.

Suggesting such journalists to follow him on FB and Twitter to remain update about his constituency, the parliamentarian said he reviews all projects in his area at regular intervals and updates all information related to the under construction projects in social media sites.

“Regular visitors to this page or my Twitter feed will have seen many, many, many examples of MPLAD project completion as well as periodic reviews and updates of ongoing construction (with geotagged & date-stamped photos)!”, he pointed out in the FB page.

Notably, leading Odia newspaper ‘Sambad’ on Saturday had reported about unutilized MPLAD funds. In the front page news item, it was mentioned thatthe Kendrapada MP is at the bottom and had utilised only 6% of his MPLAD funds.