Opposition hits back at ruling-BJD on Polavaram

Bhubaneswar: After the ruling-BJD stalled the Assembly over the Polavaram project by slamming the State government, the opposition parties retaliated today by alleging the state government of being scared of getting exposed if it allows discussion on the matter.

Though the last day of the monsoon session of the Assembly experienced normalcy during the question hour; the opposition parties raised the Polavaram issue during the Zero hour. The opposition sought to know about the proposal of a motion discussion given by 2 ministers.

The Opposition leader Narsingh Mishra targeted the state government by producing the letter sent by the former Union Forests and Environment minister Jayram Ramesh on August 18, 2010 to Odisha CM saying that the Polavaram project will not submerge any villages of Odisha and people will not be displaced.

The Cpposition leader demanded to know on what basis and data the State government is protesting the Polavaram project now. The issue flared up and the opposition Congress members assembled in the well of the Assembly and created ruckus with the opposition chief whip attempting to uproot the speakers’ mic. Following the ruckus, the speaker adjourned the house for 30 minutes.

“The State government is carrying out loud protests against the Polavaram project across the State but, when it comes to discussing the matter it is restoring to an avoidance strategy as it has no concrete facts against the project,” said leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra.

BJP’s KV Singhdeo also alleged that the ruling party is avoiding discussions on the Polavaram issue as it is scared of being exposed.

“If a discussion was done today then the air must have cleared which the State government does not want. It wants to keep the issue alive as a political strategy keeping in mind the upcoming Panchayat elections,” said BJP’s KV Singhdeo.

On the other hand, the ruling party retaliated alleging BJP has taken a u-turn on the Polavaram issue. Arguing how the project will affect Odisha, BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said “21 villages will be submerged, more than 6,000 tribal people will be displaced, and around 700 to 1000 acre of forest land will be submerged by the Polavaram project. Presenting all these data, the State government has filed a case in the Supreme Court.”

Later on in the day, the speaker passed a ruling that the Polavaram issue cannot be taken up for discussion citing discussions are pending on the Opposition’s adjournment motion and other bills.