Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 9:
BJD MPs and MLAs today continued their agitation on the second consecutive day asking the Central Government to stop work on the Polavaram project and sat on dharna in front of the Gandhi statues of Parliament and Odisha Assembly respectively.
“About 2000 hectares of land would get submerged. Tribal dominated areas of about 27 villages would get affected and many tribal families would have to be displaced. The Central Government has to stop work on the Polavaram project. Instead, they should consider some other alternative,” said Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy speaking to reporters in front of the Assembly today.
Congress, however, took the opportunity to raise questions on the intention and seriousness of BJD on the issue.
“The state government hasn’t been providing clear facts on the issue. They filed a case in the Supreme Court, but didn’t fight it properly. The SLP has been defunct. The Central Government had asked for some facts, but they are not proving them with the facts. Secondly, the Andhra Pradesh government didn’t pay for the environmental clearance, but the State Government didn’t conduct a mass hearing. Our stand has always been clear. We are against submergence. They are just opposing for the sake of it,” said Congress MP Ranjib Biswal.
“The common men are not going to accept this. If you look back, BJD has been demonstrating against the project since many years. We have protested everywhere from various districts to Bhubaneswar and even in Delhi. We, the BJD MPs, had met the Central Government to discuss the issue. Naveen Patnaik has also written many letters. If the Congress alleges that we are still not sure, it means they don’t want to listen intentionally,” snapped back BJD MP Baijayant Panda.