PARADIP: The Mahanadi water dispute between Chhattisgarh and Odisha has brought to the fore conflict in local unit of BJD. Political atmosphere in Paradip is on the boil with local MLA Damodar Rout and Jagatsinghpur district BJD president Bisnu Das trying to outdo each other in organising the final leg of ‘Mahanadi Surakshya Abhiyan’ of the ruling party. Both Rout and Das, who is also the deputy chairman of State Planning Board, are conducting separate meetings to make BJD’s Mahanadi campaign, which will culminate at Paradip on Friday, a grand success.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had flagged off ‘Mahanadi Surakshya Abhiyan’ at Sukhasoda in Jharsuguda district on May 16. The campaign, which will cover a distance of 1,585 km by passing through 15 districts and 45 constituencies, will culminate at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district on May 25.Sources said the CM has directed the Paradip MLA to ensure that the last leg of the Abhiyan is a success in his Assembly constituency. Acting on Naveen’s direction, Rout conducted a preparation meeting in Paradip and sought cooperation of his supporters for the upcoming event.
On the other hand, Rout’s arch rival Das had planned to organise the event at Bhutmundai with his supporters instead of Paradip beach. With an aim to strengthen his support base in view of the upcoming general elections, Das had even engaged his supporters to make the event a success.
However, BJD decided to make Kalinga Baliyatra ground the venue for the last leg of the Mahanadi campaign instead of Bhutmundei. This decision did not go down well with the supporters of Das.
As per reports, Das had also planned to organise preparatory meetings at Paradip and Kujang on Tuesday for the event. However, he skipped both the meets at the last moment, leaving his supporters sulking. Sources said the BJD leader was advised against conducting such meetings by the party high command.