Odisha Minister in soup over official trip to Hyderabad with female friends

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi has courted controversy for his official trip to Hyderabad where two women had allegedly accompanied him at the cost of public money.

Opposition Congress today leveled serious allegations against the Minister of misusing his position and public exchequer.

Congress’ Media Cell Chairman Satya Prakash Nayak in a press conference here today said, “Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi had gone to take part in the road show organized by Odisha Tourism in Hyderabad. He had taken two of his female friends with him. The Minister had written to the Director of Odisha Tourism and Development Corporation (OTDC) asking it to book the tickets and accommodation with the minister.”

While the Minister and his female friends had put up at Hotel Taj Krishna, Nayak claimed that the Minister is not entitled to stay in a five-star accommodation as per the TA Rules of the government.

“Why the government will bear the expenses of Minister’s friends when he is on an official visit? The Chief Minister should investigate into the matter and take actions against the Minister to prove that ‘Mo Sarkar’ and ‘5 T’ initiatives are being properly implemented in the state,” Nayak demanded.

The Minister, however, declined to comment on the issue saying “the allegations are baseless and fake”.

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