Bhubaneswar: Targeting both the Centre and the Chhattisgarh Government on the Mahanadi water dispute, the ruling-BJD in Odisha will launch a campaign - 'Mahanadi Suraksha Abhiyan' from May 16.
The party has formed two teams for the campaign, which will begin from Ambabhona in Bargarh district and Lakhanpur in Jharsuguda district and culminate at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.
The campaign will be flagged off by party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on May 16, informed BJD at a presser in Bhubaneswar today.
BJD will hold roadside meetings, shows, bike rallies and party members will camp in the night at a few places during the campaign, informed party sources. The party will also sensitise the general public on how the Centre and Chhattisgarh Government are working against the interests of the people of Odisha.
“The campaign will start from two sides of Mahanadi that is Ambabhona on one side and Lakhanpur on other side. It will pass through all the assembly constituencies on the banks of the river and reach Paradip,” said BJD vice-president, Debi Prasad Mishra.
“The motive of the campaign is to sensitise people how the BJP-led government at Centre and Chhattisgarh are conspiring against Odisha by throttling the Mahanadi River,” said BJD Rajya Sabha member, Prasanna Acharya.
On the other hand both BJP and Congress have alleged that the ‘Mahanadi Suraksha Abhiyan' is BJD's election campaign in disguise.
While Congress has also pulled up its sleeves for an agitation over Mahanadi water sharing dispute, senior party leader, Tara Prasad Bahinipati termed BJD's campaign, a drama.
BJP questioned how the BJD will be able to save the Mahanadi water that is draining into the sea.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was holding the Water Resources portfolio for long; where was he sleeping till now? it is a drama. The party is going for a summer picnic as the temperature near the river banks will be cooler,” said Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
“If Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is capable, he should announce today how many barrages he is going to construct on Mahanadi as 53 percent of Mahanadi water is flowing into the sea. The BJD should also stop wailing in the name of Mahanadi,” said Odisha BJP general secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan.
Intellectuals have also questioned the intentions of the ruling party behind 'Mahanadi Suraksha Abhiyan' as to whether it will resolve the dispute or it is just an attempt to gain political mileage.