Odisha

Raman Singh Struck-Off From BJP’s Star Campaigner List; Is It Mahanadi Row Fall Out?

**Bhubaneswar: ** Even though Odisha unit BJP chief spokesperson had earlier indicated that the list of most probable star campaigners for the Bijepur by-election would obviously be Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, the saffron party’s official list released on Thursday has no place for the neighbouring State’s Chief Minister raising a question mark and attributing such a decision taking into view the ongoing Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh in which the Supreme Court has ordered the Centre for constituting a Tribunal.

In his media reactions on such a development, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb on Friday remarked, “Under the current scenario and in the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict in favour of Odisha, Raman Singh’s election campaign here in the State would have certainly been protested by all the parites as well as the people of Odisha. Hence for this reason, I think BJP would have withdrawn his name from the list of star campaigner.”

“If their (BJP) national president campaign here, there is least chance of extra influence expected to be on the Bijepur voters. It might be their strategy hoping for an impact. It might be the feelings of BJP’s strategists,” the BJD spokesperson viewed.

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra lambasted, “Amit Shah is an expert in exhibiting ‘jumla’ (showbiz). To exhibit something new ‘jumla’, he is coming here for election campaign.”

“Had Raman Singh come for campaigning, BJP’s fate would have got forfeited in Bijepur. Because he is solely responsible for obstructing the water of Mahanadi and spelling doom upon Odisha. Scared of it, he has kept himself away from the election campaign,” fumed the Leader of Opposition.

On the contrary, BJP chief spokesperson Sajjan Sharma defended, “It’s the party’s prerogative and sole will to decide who will come and go. Listening to Amit Shah’s name they (BJD and Congress) are in a tizzy.”

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