Ruling BJD forms steering committee for Mahanadi, Polavaram issues

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal Monday formed a four-member steering committee to decide the further course of action on Mahanadi river water dispute and Polavaram Project to put pressure on the Centre, party’s state secretary Bijay Nayak said.

With the Mahanadi dispute and Polavaram project likely to emerge as the twin major issues in Odisha in the general election next year, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appointed Rajya Sabha MPs Prasanna Acharya and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra and former union minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu as the members of the committee, he said.

The steering committee will also decide the course of action of the party on the twin issues, which the regional party, in power for 18 years, believes could benefit it in the next general election.

Odisha has been opposing the construction of projects on the upstream of river Mahanadi by Chhattishgarh government and also demanded a stop of the Polavaram multi-purpose project in Andhra Pradesh.

The ruling BJD has been alleging that the BJP-led government at the Centre is responsible for the ‘illegal work’ of both Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh government.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in missives to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also demanded a stop to the work in both the projects saying they were being developed at the cost of Odisha’s interest.