Samal dubs media reports on sexual escapades as baseless

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 29 (UNI) Orissa Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal today dubbed the newspaper reports about his involvement in alleged sexual escapades in the Orissa Niwas in Delhi as ''baseless'' and aimed at misleading the people and tarnishing his image.

Making a suo motu statement in the Orissa Assembly which has been witnessing pandemonium for the last two days with the Opposition insisting on a statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his dismissal, Mr Samal said the report has been published to blemish the BJP and the coalition government in the state.

''With some political motives, selected newspapers have published imaginary and concocted stories which are not based on fact before the election,'' he alleged.

Mr Samal said he had stayed in Delhi from November 4 to November 7 and during that time a lady named Sanghamitra Singh from Bhadrak, his home constituency, had come to Delhi in connection with organising a cultural function.

The Minister said the lady had sought his assistance to contact some dignitaries for the function and he had arranged her lodging and hospitality as he felt it was his moral duty as all peoples representative to help people from his constituency.

Mr Samal further clarified that the woman who has been linked in the incident, has not made any allegation and issued a clarification which has been published in some newspapers.

He also stated that as per his information, the lady had filed a defamation case against the newspaper for publishing the news items.

''Highlighting the incident without any complainant was nothing but a low level politics.'' The Opposition Congress, however, continued their slogan-shouting inside the well of the house and disrupted the business, demanding dismissal of the Minister and a statement from the Chief Minister.

Amid din in the house, the Speaker allowed three bills to be adopted in the house and adjourned it to Monday.

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