With the passage of a bill in the Lok Sabha paving the way for construction of the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, the opposition Congress in Odisha said it would strongly protest the Centre's move. "We will ensure that the project is not built at the cost of the tribal population of undivided Koraput district," Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati told reporters outside the Assembly here.
Dubbing the BJD's opposition to the controversial project as 'shedding crocodile tears', Bahinipati said Congress would not tolerate if the tribal people suffer in the name of building an irrigation project in the neighbouring state. "It is unfortunate that the Lok Sabha passed such a bill," Bahinipati, an MLA from Jeypore in Koraput district, said.
Senior BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy termed the bill as anti-Odisha, and said that a large number of villages and forested land in Odisha's tribal dominated Malkangiri district would be submerged if the Polavaram project was built in the neighbouring state. BJD Parliamentary Party leader Bhartuhari Mahtab said his party would not sit idle after passage of the bill.