Ruling BJD members stall Odisha assembly over Polavaram dam

Bhubaneswar, Dec 11 (IANS) The Odisha assembly on Friday witnessed pandemonium as ruling BJD legislators stalled proceedings over the Polavaram dam project and later submitted a memorandum to Governor S.C. Jamir addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee.

The opposition criticised the treasury benches for creating drama to avoid discussion on gthe issue of farmers’ suicides in Odisha.

As soon as the house assembled, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislators marched into the well of the house, raising slogans against the Centre and forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house till 3 p.m.

The BJD legislators along with ministers later took out a rally from the assembly to Raj Bhavan to protest the Polavaram project, saying the dam would submerge many villages in Malkangiri district.

They also submitted a memorandum to te governor, seeking President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention to stall the construction of the Polavaram dam project.

Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said the governor has assured them he woould look into the demands and recommend accordingly to President Mukherjee.

“We demand that the Polavaram project should be put on hold as a national project. Tendering process for the project should be postponed as it would submerge many villages in the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, five Congress members have resigned from the house committee on Polavaram project issue, stating that the Naveen Patnaik government has betrayed the people of Odisha and the house committee members.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said the BJD is playing dirty politics on the Polavaram issue and creating drama to avoid discussion over farmers’ suicides issue.

The Congress party has moved a breach of privilege notice against the agriculture minister for, it alleged, hiding facts about the deaths of farmers in the state.

Congress legislator Naba Das said the ruling party enacted a drama in the house to avoid a discussion on the farmers’ suicides.

Besides, two BJP legislators decided to stay away from the meeting of the house committee formed to discuss Polavaram issue.

The committee on Thursday decided to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Polavaram issue.

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