Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the Odisha Government is all set to move to the Supreme Court over the Mahanadi issue, the ruling BJD has intensified its movement at political level to protest against the projects on the Mahanadi river.

Mounting scathing attacks on the Centre over the issue, the BJD said the Centre has not responded to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s letter urging for a halt to the projects on the upper catchment of the Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government.

At a press meet here, party leader Prasanna Acharya said the Centre is directly or indirectly cooperating with Chhattisgarh in expediting the projects. The Chief Minister had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in the matter. But no response has been received yet, he said, adding that the BJD has decided to intensify its awareness programmes against the projects in the coming days.

Party senior leader Surya Narayan Patro said, "The BJD has proposed the State Government to take legal help to fulfil in the matter. Besides, the party would launch a signature campaign at Panchayat level to collect signatures from 86 lakh families to protest the projects. The signatures would be sent to the President."

Besides, a human chain would also be formed from Hirakud to Paradip in 15 districts. The date for the human chain would be decided at a meeting to be held on November 7. The party would also carry out various awareness programmes to save the Mahanadi, he added.

In a reaction, BJP Spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said the BJD is taking up the Mahanadi issue keeping in view of the upcoming Panchayat polls. BJP State president Basant Panda said, "The BJD is only politicizing the issue. The Prime Minister do not have the solution. The Centre can only play the role of a referee. The Odisha Government should should raise the issue at the right forum."