Pioneer reports that Ersama MLA and former Minister Damodar Rout on Sunday has initiated a joint political move in favour of the Posco project proposed near Paradip in his constituency.


“Under no particular party’s banner, political leaders met in Jagatsinghpur to chart out a strategy for a show of strength with a slogan Aage maati pare party, literally meaning land first, party later. Presiding over the meeting, Rout harped on the fact that 85 per cent people in Kujang tehsil, where the South Korean steel major wants to set up its greenfield project, were supporting the 12-million-tonne per annum plant. As they are not united, their voice is cowed down by a handful of agitators. Rout sought to prove the point that the anti-Posco brigade was a minority group making tall claims. It was decided to organise a mass meeting on Tuesday at Balitutha, which leaders cutting across party lines would address. Rout’s move follows Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s instructions to him to extend his support for the Posco project in his constituency.

Rout, in his turn, has asked the Jagatsinghpur district authorities to help in smooth conduct of the Tuesday meeting, to which Collector Pramod Kumar Mehrada and SP RP Singh have reportedly agreed.

More than 60 representatives from various political parties participated in the deliberations on Sunday. A few of them suggested to organise the mass meeting at a later stage, but Rout said, “Strike the iron when it is hot.”

A section of political observers, however, feels that there may be a scuffle between the anti- and pro-Posco supporters on the day”