Mohapatra promises more
His coup of May might have been unsuccessful but Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohapatra,suspended from the BJD,is not done with yet. He has given indications of this during recent interviews to local TV channels and newspapers about upcoming surprises in October. He told a newspaper he is not a betrayer and it would soon be clear who had betrayed whom. This has come when speculation is rife about Mohapatra planning an October launch of his political outfit,tentatively named Biju Swabhiman Dal with a snail as the symbol. While Mohapatra may not be able to create a dent in the BJDs vote-bank,Naveen will be worried about the Rajya Sabha MP spilling secrets from the longstanding friendship they had shared.
With the CPI(Maoist) expelling top leader Sabyasachi Panda in August for betraying the party and revolution and the great cause of the toiling masses,he has become isolated. Weeks before that,he had announced the formation of Orissa Maovadi Party,a ragtag union of 20-odd armed cadres. But with so few armed cadres at his disposal and the state police as well as the central leadership of CPI(Maoist) hot on his heels,senior citizens led by former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray recently urged him to surrender. Two days later,his wife and mother too urged him to shun violence,besides urging civil society to start a dialogue with the state government for facilitating Pandas surrender. But police sources say it may be tough for Panda as he has over 100 cases pending against him.
Posco warms up
The Posco project seems to be finally rolling. More than four months after the National Green Tribunal suspended the environmental clearance granted to the Korean steelmakers 12-million-tonne integrated steel complex,an expert team appointed by the environment ministry visited the proposed site for a fresh review. While Posco expects a favourable order,it has started wooing the locals by announcing Rs 200 crore for social and infrastructural work in project-affected villages. Of the 4,004 acres required,the state government has so far acquired 2,000 acres. Posco says it needs 700 acres more to start groundwork. Following suggestions by Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa,the company is now planning massive developmental work in eight villages under Dhinkia,Nuagaoan and Gadakujang panchayats.