Blame game after PMO ignores Odisha plea for meet on Polavaram

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) once again brought the issue of the Center’s alleged step-motherly attitude towards Odisha after the Assembly’ House Committee failed to get an appointment with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for discussion on the Polavaram issue.

The House Committee had sought an appointment to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi between December 27 and January 18 but did not get any response from the PMO even as the deadline for the meeting expires today.

Blaming the BJP government, BJD spokesperson Amar Satapathy said, “As hundreds of tribal people will be affected by the Polavaram project, our House Committee had sought an appointment with the Prime Minister for detailed discussion. But as always, the Centre has once again shown its ‘no-care’ attitude as we are yet to get a confirmation about the meeting.”

The Prime Minister is often seen travelling to foreign countries, but it is equally important that he should find time to listen the demands of tribal people in the country, Satapathy said.

Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, who had also raised his voice against the mega project, said it is very unfortunate that the PMO had not given any date to meet the House Committee.

He also alleged that the BJD is simply doing politics over Polavaram project and in the name of tribals.

Senior BJP leader Sajan Sharma, however, attacked the BJD government saying the ruling party should first to visit Polavaram as they are yet to assess the pros and cons of this project.

It is worthwhile to mention that, the House Committee had sought an appointment from the Prime Minister’s Office on any day between December 27 and January 18 to meet the House Committee.

A BJD delegation comprising four State ministers and other leaders had submitted a memorandum in this regard to Governor S. C. Jamir.

Polavaram will trigger submergence of a vast stretch of area in Odisha, including 25 villages, and cause displacement of 6818 people including 5618 tribals. A total 7656 of hectares of agricultural land would go under water adversely affecting life and livelihood of tribals in south Odisha.