Bhubaneswar: Intensifying its protest against the ongoing construction of Polavaram multi-purpose dam in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today staged demonstrations in seven districts in Odisha.
The demonstrations were staged in front of the collectorate in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts.
While former MLA and minister Rabi Narayan Nanda led the demonstration in Koraput, Commerce and Transport minister Ramesh Majhi led the demonstration in Nabarangpur in presence of MLAs Manohar Randhari, Subash Gond and former MP Bhupinder Singh.
In Rayagada, hundreds of BJD workers led by Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma and Rajya Sabha member N Bhaskar Rao took out a rally in the town and later staged demonstration in front of the office of the district collector. The party leaders criticised the double standards of the Centre on Polavaram issue.
In Berhampur of Ganjam district, local MP Sidhant Mohapatra and former minister and BJD spokesperson Surya Narayan Patro staged demonstration in front of the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (South).
Talking to media persons, Mohapatra said the impact of the agitation by the BJD in Odisha on Polavaram issue will be on the Centre.
He, however, said the BJD is not opposed to the Polavaram project. In fact, we object to the height of the dam which will seriously affect the people especially the tribals of Malkangiri and Rayagada districts. For this reason, the Odisha government has moved the Supreme Court. “The Centre, which believes in federalism, has taken a one-sided decision on the height of the project by ignoring the concern of Odisha,” he maintained.
Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chaupatnaik said the BJD strongly condemns the unilateral decision of the Centre on Polavaram project. “The step motherly attitude of the Centre towards Odisha on this issue will certainly backfire”, he warned.
In his reaction, Koraput MP Jhina Hikaka said the BJD strongly condemns the manner in which the Centre has unilaterally accorded national status to Polavaram project by raising the height of the dam without consulting Odisha.