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Target Sindol, drought in House

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 16: The controversial Sindol power project and the looming threat of drought will be in focus as the Opposition gets set to put the government on the mat in the monsoon session of the Orissa Assembly that begins tomorrow.

The issues have been carefully chosen to cause maximum damage, with tension running high in the Sindol project area where farmers continue to be worried about their future.

In a bid to counter the Opposition attack, the ruling BJD has decided to move official motions to discuss the Centre’s neglect of Orissa, an evergreen issue, and rise in the prices of essential commodities. The arrest of Anna Hazare over the controversial Lokpal Bill and corruption charges against the UPA government would come in handy for the government which will seek to snub the Congress before the main Opposition party can cause any substantial damage.

“The Central government should not have arrested Anna Hazare who wanted to protest peacefully. This sort of incidence reminds us of what used to happen during the days of emergency,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik. He also said his party would raise the issue of central neglect towards Orissa.

Recently, the BJD had held a youth rally in Cuttack, during which Naveen had alleged that the Centre was adopting a “discriminatory approach” towards Orissa. Naveen had called upon party men to carry this message to the people. However, the Congress is determined to continue its attack the BJD government over “corruption and failures”.

“We will raise burning issues such as scams, deterioration in law and order and anti-people policies of the state government during the coming session,” said leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh.

“The decision of the state government to set up the Sindol hydro project, which will submerge several villages in western Orissa districts, will also crop up for discussion,” he added.

The Congress will also highlight the issue of the Orissa government’s failure to provide assistance to farmers affected by last year’s untimely rains and to save the crop from the threat of drought, said Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan.

The Opposition will also not forget to talk about the multi-crore mining scam, the dal scam, which had rocked the Assembly during the previous session.

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