Misconduct to First Lady: Blame game intensifies after clarification from Prez office

Bhubaneswar: The political slugfest over the controversy surrounding the issue of misconduct to the First Lady in Puri Srimandir intensified after Ashok Malik, the press secretary of the President clarified that no letter was sent to the Puri district administration from the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

“Those who are claiming that any such letter has been sent from the President’s office should produce it. All these reports are mere speculations. Some servitors did try to breach security protocols to come closer to the president but they were stopped,” he clarified.

Following the clarification, Puri Srimandir servitors have demanded immediate investigation to find out who raked up the issue of misconduct to the First Lady.

“The khalnayaks (culprits) behind the blatant lie to malign and belittle the image of servitors must be exposed,” said Rajat Kumar Pratihari, secretary of Garabadu Nijog.

Khunita Niyog’s Hajuri Krushna Chandra Khuntia alleged that the speculations were intentional and it was a planned conspiracy to defame the servitor community.

Earlier on Friday, Union Minister Dharmedra Pradhan had said he knew that no such incident happened inside the temple and sought clarification from Odisha CM that with what intention and at whose behest the controversy was created.

Meanwhile, blaming the BJP and the BJD, senior Odisha Congress leader, Taraprasad Bahinipati said that both the parties should apologise before Lord Jagannath in Puri Srimandir.

Clarifying BJP’s stand on the issue, State BJP vice-president, Samir Mohanty said that the party had just said that the BJD didn’t even spare the President of India.

BJD spokesperson, Pratab Deb on the other hand said the incident was a media-generated story and BJD had not started it.

Taking a jibe at Bahinipati, Deb said “If Tara babu has any confusion, then he should talk to his party chief Niranjan Patnaik, he will clarify it.”