Congress bandh throws Odisha out of gear

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Bhubaneswar: Normal life came to a stand still in many parts of the state due to a dawn-to-dusk bandh called by Congress to protest against the Chhattisgarh government’s unilateral move of constructing barrages and dams in the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi.

Agitating members of the party staged road blockades by burning tyres and picketing. They also resorted to rail roko at many stations across the state.

While Coromandel express was detained by Congress activists at Bhubaneswar station, Bhadrak-Bhubaneswar DMU was detained at Bhadrak station. Sambalpur-Puri and Sambalpur-Rayagada intercity trains were halted by Congress workers at Khetrajpur station in Sambalpur.

Congress workers led by Cuttack city president Mohammed Moquim staged a rail roko at Cuttack railway station.

Members of the Opposition party staged road blockades by burning tyres bringing vehicular traffic movement to a grinding halt.

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Party activist blocked the national highway number-5 at Palasuni affecting vehicular movement between the Twin Cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Besides, the student’s wing of the Congress also blocked the national highway at Vani Vihar in Bhubaneswar.

Workers of the party blocked the Cuttack-Chandbali road at Tinimuhani square in Kendrapara.

The effect of the bandh was also seen in Bhawanipatna, Angul, Kandhmal, Berhampur, Anandapur, Kendrapara, Balangir and many other places in the state.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan, said, “A single drop of water of Mahanadi will not be shared with anyone. The bandh called by our party is being supported by the people of the state. The bandh is being observed in a peaceful way and it will be a success.”

“We will continue our protest till our demands are fulfilled,” Harichandan added.

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Narsingh Mishra, Leader of Opposition, said, “The bandh call has been given to create awareness among the people of Odisha. What happened to the boastful promises made by the state government that it will not allow Chhattisgarh to stop Mahanadi water? Both the Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments are responsible and the Central government has become a mute spectator.”

Ranjib Biswal, senior Congress leader, “The bandh has been successful across State. Both leader of opposition Narsingh Mishra and PCC president Prasad Harichandan were present.”

Talking to OTV, Congress spokesperson Sulochana Das said, “The effect of Odisha Bandh called by Congress can be seen in every part of the state.The police has detained some of our party activists, which clearly shows its vindictive attitude.”

Mohammed Moquim, Cuttack City Congress President, said, “We are protesting the Chhattisgarh government’s move of constructing barrages and dams on Mahanadi. We have all the rights on Mahanadi. So we will fight till the last for Mahanadi.”

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