Political parties in Odisha begin war of words over Polavaram project

Bhubaneswar, Sep 8 (IANS) A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre would bear all expenses for the construction of the Polavaram project, the three major political parties of Odisha on Thursday entered into a mudslinging contest over the project.

The Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments are opposing the irrigation project on Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh citing that many areas of the states would be affected due to the project.

“The statement of Jaitley is like rubbing salt into the wound. When the matter is sub-judice at the Supreme Court, and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sent a notice to the Centre regarding this, the announcement of the Union Finance Minister at this juncture is unfortunate,” said BJD spokesperson Samir Dash.

Maintaining that the party would fight tooth and nail against the project, he said it clearly shows the step motherly attitude of the central government.

“It is the duty of the state government to protect the interest of Odisha people. The state government should make its stand clear over the issue. The Congress party has already taken its stand on the project and would fight for the state’s interest,” Senior Congress leader Bhakta Das said on the Polavaram project issue.

Blaming the then UPA government for the tussle over the Polavaram irrigation project, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said, “The BJP government has not made any new announcement. During the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the UPA government had promised to give national status to the Polavaram project.”

Sharma said the state government should make clear what kind of loss it would suffer and tell the same to the people of Odisha as well as to the centre.

The Odisha government had filed a case in the Supreme Court against the project, which is likely to submerge some parts in Malkangiri district.

–IANS

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