Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 27:
Eyes on panchayat polls, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal today hinted at intensifying its awareness campaigns and demonstrations throughout the state to highlight the Mahanadi water sharing dispute with Chhattisgarh.
Addressing a press conference in Bhubaneswar today, party Chief Spokesperson Surya Narayan Patro made an ambitious announcement to form a massive human chain from Hirakud to Paradip to protest against the alleged injustice by the Center.
Besides, it will collect signatures from 86 lakh families of the state and submit it to the President of India. The party continues to mull legal options available to address the issue as well, he added.
The party, however, is yet to finalise its timeline and will give a final shape to its plans in a meeting scheduled to be held on November 7.
“The Central Government continues to bat for Chhattisgarh directly and indirectly. BJD has undertaken several programmes to create awareness among the public. The party will further strengethen it in coming days,” said BJD MP Prasanna Acharya speaking to reporters today.
Opposition parties, however, saw politics behind the announcements and criticized the party.
“The state governments of both the states should sit together and discuss the issues as river water sharing is a state subject. The people of Odisha are frustrated over several issues. Their anger is visible on the streets. The ruling party is afraid of it. This is why they are conducting these dramas to divert public attention,” said Odisha BJP President Basant Panda.
“Odisha Government has failed to present its case before the Center. Biju Janata Dal runs the government here. However, they are playing the role of the opposition. It is unfortunate,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
Meanwhile, Odisha Space Applications Centre (ORSAC) will initiate a satellite based study next month to estimate the exact amount of water flowing into the state from the upper basin in Chhattisgarh, said a source in the government familiar with the case.