‘No entry for Raman Singh in Odisha’, warn Cong, BJD, SP

Bhubaneswar: Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s panchayat poll campaign in Odisha next month is unlikely to be a smooth affair, as the ruling BJD, Congress and Samajawadi Party (SP), to vent ire on the Mahanadi issue, have decided to launch protests in the areas the senior BJP leader will visit to address public rallies.

While the Congress party said it will stage demonstration in Singh’s public meeting places to dissuade the voters, the SP will launch public awareness about the CM’s stand on Mahanadi issue. Since the Chhattisgarh government has not ‘cooperated’ with the BJD here in the Mahanadi river water sharing issue, the regional party has also said it will not allow the leader to address people here for panchayat polls.

“If Raman Singh comes here for campaigning, we will give him a fitting reply…We will not allow Singh to land here….Singh is an enemy of Odisha people….He has dared to stop the water (of Mahanadi) and if he comes here we will stage protest”, said Congress leader Sura Routray.

“We will distribute poll pamphlets and aware the people about Raman Singh’s approach towards Odisha on Mahanadi issue. Wherever Singh goes we will stage protest”, said Samajwadi Party State president Rabi Behera.

The ruling BJD, which is seen locking horn with the BJP-led government in Chhattisgarh to resolve the Mahanadi issue for quite some time now, said it will not allow the leader to address gathering.

“The person who had termed Mahanadi issue as political gimmick of BJD, for what he is coming here? The people of Odisha will decide about it”, asked BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera, indicating at Singh. The party which has approached the Centre for a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi issue, is reportedly planning to stage demonstrations at several places of the State protesting Singh.

Meanwhile the BJP said the ‘warnings’ of political parties will not bear any impact on the campaign.

“He (Singh) will come and address the people of Odisha. We are not bothered about what other parties say”, said BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan.