Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 3: 

With only weeks left for panchayat polls to begin across Odisha, state unit of BJP today announced the campaign schedule of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda in the state.

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According to the party, Singh will campaign in Burda of Bolangir district, Kadheikela of Jharsuguda district and Subdega of Sundargarh district on February 9. He will continue with the campaign again on February 11 in Kutara, Lathikata and Nuagaon area of Sundargarh.

Besides, he will also cover Bargarh and Nuapada districts during his campaign.

Senior Odisha BJP leader Jual Oram met Singh yesterday in Chhattisgarh to apprise him of the political scenario of the state.

“We have scheduled a four day campaign schedule for Raman Singh. We will also rope in Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda. Overall, we have put in place a 12 day campaign schedule for the three leaders. They will certainly reflect on the welfare programmes being implemented in their states,” said BJP General Secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan today.

BJP hopes that the good governance of Singh in the neighbouring state will benefit it in the polls at bordering areas of Odisha- Chhattisgarh. Besides, the party expects that direct statements of Singh on Mahanadi issue will help it counter the Mahanadi narrative of Biju Janata Dal.

The step, however, has been contested by opposition parties and BJP insiders before, who accuse Singh of obstructing the water flow of Mahanadi into Odisha.

“There is a definitive anger against Raman Singh in the state over the Mahanadi issue. People will certainly oppose him,” said Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.

Biju Janata Dal General Secretary Debi Prasad Mishra, meanwhile, said that it will support the people who oppose Singh even though it won’t directly protest against his campaign.