Bhubaneswar: Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s Odisha tour to campaign for BJP in the ensuing panchayat polls may not be a smooth ride as the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to stage jal satyagraha (sit-in protest inside water) from tomorrow, to protest Singh’s stand on the Mahanadi water sharing issue.
Activists in large number of the regional party will take to the protest in Sambalpur and Cuttack, informed BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera.
Addressing media Behera said, “How we will allow a man in our land, who is against the interest of our people and State? Mahanadi is our lifeline and is depended upon since ages by people across the State. We are saddened that despite the issue for which the Centre was requested to intervene, Singh has not stopped construction of a single barrage in the upper catchment area of Mahanadi.”
“To protest his Odisha visit we will stage ‘jal satyagraha’ from tomorrow at Cuttack and Sambalpur. In the morning our party activists will stage the protest in Mahanadi at Sambalpur and in the evening we will perform ‘sandhya alati’ (evening puja). It will be a peaceful and silent protest,” he stated.
Expressing similar views, BJD MP Kalikesh Singhdeo said, "Someone can imagine what will be the effect on the district's people if a person, who is blocking the flow of Mahanadi water on which the western Odisha farmers have the rights and sell it to industrialists, visit the areas here."
Clarifying on his party's stand, Congress MLA from Jharsuguda Naba Das stated, "People of Lakhanpur will give a fitted reply to the person, who is responsible to stop the Mahanadi water flow into the district. An agitation will be held in democratic way during his visit."
BJP sources said Singh will arrive here tomorrow and campaign for the party in several districts of the State for a couple of days.
Reacting to the proposed protests, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the state's people will help bring down the BJD government that he said was mired in corruption.
He said the state government is trying to suppress the voice of the opposition ahead of the local polls.