The Lok Sabha elections have provided the right platform for several personalities to test political waters. Be it film stars or journalists, many individuals have crossed over into politics with hopes of a distinguished career. The run-up to the upcoming general elections is also witnessing some new entrants into politics from across parties. One prominent name this poll season is senior journalist Satya Prakash Nayak.
The senior journalist’s name figured in the Congress’ list of seven candidates from Odisha. Nayak has been fielded from Puri and has been pitted against the BJP’s firebrand leader, Sambit Patra.
Who is Satya Prakash Nayak?
Nayak is a household name in Odisha due to his prime time television shows aired on some regional channels. He has been in journalism for the last two decades and has worked with big brands such as Zee Kalinga, Kanak TV, Etv Odia and The Samay. Not many know that he is a trained parachute jumper. Born to Bhagirathi Nayak, a high school teacher in Bhadrak district, the journalist has four brothers, one of whom is a BJP candidate from Bhadrak in 2019 and has been in 2014 too – Dr Pradip Nayak who also owns a Nursing home. His wife, Mamata Nayak is Deputy Director in Department of Education in Government of Odisha
Row over Baba Shankaranand Giri
In September 2015, Satya Prakash Nayak served as the channel head of Zee Kalinga, exposed several scams and other financial irregularities and fraud in Odisha. He had famously taken on Krishna Chandra Moharana, also known as Baba Shankaranand Giri, who is the founder of Kriya Yoga Ashram for alleged money laundering and land grabbing.
The administration and parents of students of Prabhujee English medium school and the foreign lady found with Baba in Chandikhol have registered cases in the Sahid Nagar police station against Zee Kalinga news head Satyaprakash Nayak accusing them of causing trouble and inciting violence, reported Odisha Sun Times.
Many believe that this was the reason that complaints and allegations against Nayak was filed. Many questioned the complaints and saw it as an attempted to crush media freedom and free speech.
Moreover, complaints were also registered accusing the Zee Kalinga staff of inciting violence and ‘taking a bribe’ for telecasting reports against Giri. Meanwhile, Zee Kalinga reporter Pritikanta Nayak registered a case against Shankarananda, saying that his supporters were threatening him.
Nayak joined Congress in August 2017
Nayak had joined the Congress party in August 2017 at a special function in the party’s state headquarters in Bhubaneswar.
“The Congress party perfectly suits me since I will not have to compromise with my principles,” Satya Prakash, a report by OdishaTV quoted the senior journalist as saying.
Satya Prakash had then said that he chose the Congress party as his ‘ideology’ matched with that of the Congress.
Odisha Lok Sabha elections date
The people of Odisha will vote in four phases with Puri going to polls on April 23 in phase III of Lok Sabha elections.