Bhubaneswar, Aug 18: The Odisha government today said it will bear all medical expenses of Maharaja Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb, who has been admitted at a private hospital in Chennai.
The Maharaja is the scion of the Gajapati dynasty of Parlakhemundi which lies in the present Gajapati district. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also asked Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu S Nayak to visit the Maharaja, a former MP, at the hospital in Chennai, where he was admitted two days ago, an official statement said. The state government's move came in the wake of public resentment in Gajapati where people alleged that some palace officials kept the Maharaja confined and denied him proper treatment.
Meanwhile, Parlakhemundi MLA K Surya Rao of Congress and Gajapati district BJP president G Ravana today staged a hunger strike in front of the palace at Parlakhemundi demanding arrest of the Maharaj's manager Kanakmanjari Patra, who they alleged had kept the Maharaja under house arrest.
They also demanded the arrest of Patra's two brothers. "Our demands include proper treatment to the Maharaja, arrest of palace manager along with her two brothers and thorough inquiry into the palace's monetary transaction," Rao said.
Hearing that the Maharaja is kept under house arrest and not allowed to meet anyone, people of Parlakhemundi and leaders of various parties staged demonstration in front of the palace. Sarbagyana Jagannath Gajapati Deb, the younger brother of Maharaja, has alleged that manager had put the Maharaja under house arrest. Manager Patra, however, denied the allegation.
She said, "The Maharaja is fit and fine. He is not in house arrest as alleged. His daughter had advised us not to allow Maharaja go outside because of his frail health condition."