BJD undecided on united fight against Polavaram

Bhubaneswar: Even though two regional parties – Telengana Rastra Samiti (TRS) and Chhattisgarh Janata Congress, have decided to protest against Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling BJD in Odisha which has been protesting the construction work of the project for a long time, is yet to decide to join the former for a bigger impact on the Centre on the issue.

The regional party, after coming to know about the recent development, has preferred to remain mum whether it would join hands with the two neighboring States.

“It is not clear why the states have convened a meeting. Three States unitedly could have sat together instead. We have been protesting the project and will continue to do that. If they support our protest agenda, a decision to fight against the construction might take a united turn”, BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhushan Behera said.

Similarly, TRS MP Sitaram Nayak said his party would support anyone who would come forward to oppose the dam. “Our main demand is to decrease the height of the dam. We would back any party who would protest the dam on river Godavari”, Nayak told OTV over phone.

Chhattisgarh Janata Congress also made its stand clear inviting regional parties to prepare a joint strategy for a united fight.

“We will struggle within the constitutional guidelines with our three main demands. Other regional parties should also come forward in this regard and chalk out strict action plan to launch a protest collectively against the dam”, Chhatisgarh Janata Congress MLA Amit Jogi said.

Sources said, Telengana Water Resources minister T Harish Rao and Jogi had met together in close door recently and prepared blueprint for their movement. The protest is intensified gradually after Centre declared to provide all financial assistance for the construction on Godavari river project.

Meanwhile, as per its earlier decision, the BJD will stage demonstration in front of Raj Bhawan on Wednesday over the issue and will launch agitation in seven districts of south Odisha on September 20.

The Polavaram dam project , which is claimed to take India one step forward to resolving its water shortage, haunts at least three state governments, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, and at least 52,000 villagers — mostly scheduled tribes — in  the 205 villages that are going to be submerged.