"Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader Basanta Panda said the protest by the ruling party is unfortunate. Panda said the BJD has been protesting to further its political interests."
Bhubaneswar, July 14 - Legislators from Odisha's ruling BJD Monday disrupted the proceedings of the state assembly here demanding cancellation of the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.
Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the house till 3 p.m. after members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) disrupted the proceedings soon after the start of question hour.
After the house was adjourned, the legislators staged a demonstration near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi inside the assembly complex.
A party delegation later visited Raj Bhavan, the official residence of Governor S.C. Jamir and submitted a memorandum to him.
The ruling party also observed a 12-hour shutdown against the project in the four southern districts of Koraput, Nabarangpur, Raygada and Malkangiri.
Normal life was affected across the region as party workers blocked roads and took out protest marches.
The central government has taken a unilateral decision to go ahead with the project without taking care of the interest of Odisha, state Panchayati Raj and Law minister Arun Sahu told reporters.
Odisha has been opposing the project on the Godavari river, claiming that a large number of villages in the southern districts of the state would get submerged and thousands of people would be displaced.
Leader of Opposition Narashigha Mishra said it was unfortunate that the ruling party members disrupted the assembly proceedings.
They had done that to avoid discussion on other important matters, he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader Basanta Panda said the protest by the ruling party is unfortunate. Panda said the BJD has been protesting to further its political interests.
The government should first make it clear how many people in the state would be affected by the project, he said.