Posco: PPSS wants Rahul to visit dharna site

Paradip (Orissa): Facing flak for using children and women in agitations against the setting up of the greenfield steel project, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti(PPSS) on Monday said it wanted AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to visit the dharna site.

"We want Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to witness the agitation voluntarily launched by children and women at Gobindpur village, entry point to Dhinkia gram pancahyat," PPSS leader Abhay Sahu said.

Sahu said he had already sent invitation to Rahul through state-level leaders. "As Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is avoiding visiting the area, Rahul's visit will boost the people's agitation."

Women and children have created a human barricade at Gobindpur since June 2 to prevent the entry of police and government officials into their villages.

Gandhi is scheduled to pay a two-day visit to the state from July 13 and meet youths but has no plans to visit the Posco project site, Orissa PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said.

Congress had expressed solidarity with the agitators and demanded shifting of the proposed mega steel plant from Dhinkia, a fertile area with betel vines, to some other barren land.

Meanwhile, pro-Posco United Action Committee has also invited Rahul to see the situation.

"His (Rahul's) visit will clear doubts over Congress stand on Posco project," UAC leader Nirvay Samantray said claiming a section of the party in the state was against the steel plant while the PMO and union ministry of environment and forest was for it.