Mahanadi issue: Bijoy Mohapatra turns a pain in the neck for Odisha BJP

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader and former State Irrigation Minister Bijoy Mohapatra today turned out to be the real pain in the neck for his party by describing the Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on the Mahanadi water dispute as a conspiracy and a move to forge a friendship with Chhattisgarh and enmity with people of Odisha.

“It’s a decision taken at the Centre for not constituting a tribunal. This affidavit proves friendship with Chhattisgarh and enmity with the people of Odisha,” the senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra told reporters at a press conference here today.

Mohapatra hit out at the Centre for maintaining double standards on the issue vis-à-vis its statement in the Parliament and affidavit in the Supreme Court on the Mahanadi water dispute.

“In the court, the Centre has suggested for amicable settlement of the dispute whereas in the Parliament it had said that there can be no amicable settlement in the matter and formation of a tribunal is the only solution. This I feel this is double standards,” he pointed out.

The senior BJP leader not only blamed the Centre for being partisan but also felt that a conspiracy has been hatched.

“The queries raised by the Centre prove that the matter has been dealt in a fully partisan manner. It appears that some conspiracy is going on. The Water Resources department of the Central government has put the departmental Minister in the dock,” the senior BJP leader stated.

In order to explain how Mahanadi was going to dry up in the future, Mohapatra said due to the unilateral action of Chhattisgarh, Hirakud dam’s inflow has decreased by 41 percent this year while water inflow into Mahanadi’s branch river at Jobra has been 6000 cusecs less.

With Chhattisgarh planning for interlinking of its rivers, the situation in Odisha will worsen further, he warned.

However, the State BJP is in no mood to accept Mohapatra’s arguments and has said that since the latter has lost relevance in politics he was making irrelevant statements. The party even indicated of action against Mohapatra.

“The issue raised by Bijoy babu is completely irrelevant and untrue. This is an attempt by him in the process to get connected with the political histrionics that’s going on here over Mahanadi. The party has taken it seriously and will soon take a decision in the matter,” said Prithviraj Harichandan, BJP State unit General Secretary in his reaction on Mohapatra’s slamming of the Centre on the Mahanadi issue.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, who is considered as the poster boy of the BJP for Odisha today clarified that the Centre has not rejected the proposal for constitution of a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi issue but is interested in an amicable settlement between the two neighbours.

On the other hand, the BJD has fully supported Mohapatra’s statement on the Mahanadi issue and the Centre’s role in it.

“What Bijoy babu said today, is the same thing that I had said on the very first day. This is a proper conspiracy. Let me tell you what conspiracy it is. The conspiracy is to help Chhattisgarh politically and not form the tribunal since its going to be a political issue in Chhattisgarh which is going to the polls in August next year,” said Pratap Keshari Deb, BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP.




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