Anubhav Mohanty: An Asset or Liability for Kendrapara

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By Our Correspondent

KENDRAPARA/BHUBANESWAR: While announcing Anubhav Mohanty’s name as BJD’s candidate against BJP’s Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda for the Kendrapara Parliamentary seat in the last Lok Sabha Polls, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose late father’s Karma Bhoomi , had promised that the actor turn MP will deliver more than the Industrialist turn MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda.

“Now with allegations after allegations against Anubhav Mohanty, people of Kendrapara Parliamentary segment now started realising their mistakes,” said a veteran in Kendrapara town.

On Friday the MP released a video statement, which is more a film dialogue than apology. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik broke his silence and assured that he would certainly look into it. Soon after Anubhav uploaded the video message, social media users came down heavily on the actor for his arrogant style.

In the first part, Mohanty narrated, “I have immense respect for media persons and supported them always. However, the incident which happened in Kendrapara recently involving an OTV journalist has hurt me. It wasn’t intentional neither did I want such a thing to happen. I regret.”

Then came the 2nd take. “After Baijayant Babu lost 2019 Lok Sabha elections against me, his family-owned channel (OTV) has been irritating and insulting me more frequently,” said Mohanty.

In the final part, the MP appealed, “It’s my humble request to Baijayant Babu, do not harass me at a time when I am working for the people of Kendrapara. I am serving the people and will continue to do so.”

BJP National Vice-President Jay Panda, however, refused to comment on Anubhav Mohanty’s statements.

Meanwhile after Anubhav posted the video on social media, the Twitter-verse condemning the incident blasted him while asking him to behave like an MP. Another user said BJD converted the illegal Bangladeshi settlement in Kendrapara into vote bank. A few others called Mohanty as ‘Dramebaaz’.

Here questions rose, since his election to Lok Sabha from Kendrapara, as many as 3 FIRs have already been registered against Anubhav Mohanty, 2 FIRs at Cuttack’s Purighat PS and 1 at Kendrapara Town PS.

There have been legends like late Sunil Dutt, Shatrughan Sinha, late Vinod Khanna, late Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bachchan and Govinda and many more , etc. who have left their imprint on the political arena by their ability to shed the aura or stardom and engage deeply with the causes they have committed to.For MP Anubhav Mohanty, the legends of Hindi cinema who had taken to politics should be examples.

The actor-turned-politician has been frequently in news for the wrong reasons. A resident of Cuttack, he had recently courted controversy following a public spat with his neighbour and party colleague in the city. Earlier in June, a woman had also accused the MP of misbehaving with her and lodged a police complaint. A day after he misbehaved with a journalist on duty, an FIR was filed against MP Anubhav Mohanty on Wednesday in Kendrapara Town police station.

Lodging the complaint, journalist Manoj Swain, working with a private TV channel, alleged that Anubhav misbehaved with him at the Collector’s office when he was attending the briefing of the MP along with other mediapersons.

Kendrapara Town IIC Ranjan Samantray said investigating into the case is on. Anubhav, who represents Kendrapara in the Lok Sabha, however, refuted the allegations.

Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari said, “The visuals of misbehaviour are disturbing and such incivility by a people’s representative doesn’t bode well for democracy.”Senior Congress leader Sura Routray, on the other hand, said Anubhav needs to learn some manners. “After staying in power for so long, BJD has become arrogant. It is unfortunate that their MP doesn’t know how to respect media,” rued Cong MLA Tara Bahinipati.

Arrogance and star-power do not count in public life unless backed by substance and statement of purpose. There have been many actors to have traversed the path of politics only to be pushed back to oblivion or consigned to fringe reference as footnotes in the political history, thanks to their lack of performance, sincerity, and most importantly, the over-riding vanity of being a star. Such actors are remembered only by their face value that lasts for a short-term and never for being MPs and MLAs, writes Kasturi Ray

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