Bijoy Mohapatra Lashes Out At Centre For Dodging Odisha Over Mahanadi Issue

10 December 2017

Mohammed Ishtiyaque

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Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra rebuked the Central Government for rejecting the formation of a ‘Mahanadi tribunal’ and alleged that the latter has been siding with the Chattisgarh Government against the interests of Odisha.

Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday, Mohapatra said, the Centre’s rejection for formation of a tribunal in an affidavit before the Supreme Court will directly impact the people dependant of Mahanadi. “The Centre’s indifferent and one-sided approach has hurt the sentiment and self-esteem of Odias,” he said.

“The affidavit filed by the Centre implies that the points highlighted by Chattisgarh are all relevant whereas, the issues put across by Odisha are menial,” he said.

Water level in the catchment areas of Mahanadi has been depleting. While the Jobra Barrage recorded over 10,000 cusec water-flow during December 2016, the level has receded to below 4,000 cusec, the senior BJP leader said.

If the Union Government does not budge from its uni-polar stand, 16 district of Odisha, which will be severely impacted, will resort to protests, the veteran leader said.

Mohapatra’s salvo has invoked sharp reactions from his colleagues in the saffron party. State BJP general secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan dismissed the allegations as ‘illogical.’ This is an attempt to garner attention by joining the ongoing debate over Mahanadi,” Harichandan said.

The party’s State unit may contemplate disciplinary action against Mohapatra, if required, he added.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJD did not miss a chance to jeer at the infighting of their political rivals. BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Deb backed Mohapatra’s remarks and accused the Centre of supporting Chhattisgarh.

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Bijoy Mohapatra, BJP Leader, Odisha

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Pratap Keshari Deb, Rajya Sabha Member, BJD

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Prithiviraj Harichandan, BJP Leader, Odisha