BJP, BJD trade blows over Chhattisgarh CM’s comment on Mahanadi

Bhubaneswar: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s comment on Mahanadi may have been politically motivated to woo voters (as believed by political experts), but it has rattled Odisha’s political status quo with both the ruling-BJD and BJP engaging themselves in a war of words.

Raman Singh on Tuesday had said that no one can stop his state from using Mahanadi water and claimed that Odisha is politicising the issue.

While the ruling- BJD had criticised Singh and accused him of political ‘hooliganism,’ the state unit of BJP said that there is no point in discussing the issue as the matter is still sub judice.

Again today, BJD’s vice-president Prasanna Acharya said “Raman Singh is campaigning in his state and made such a statement. On the basis of which law or inter-state river water disputes tribunal did the Chhattisgarh CM make such a careless statement? There is no rule that says that the state with larger catchment area will use more water. Singh’s statement is blatant violation of the law of the land and disobedience of the Supreme Court.”

Odisha had an agreement with Madhya Pradesh (undivided) that the former will supply around 5 mega watt (MW) power to the latter from the electricity generated at the Hirakud hydroelectric project in Sambalpur.

While Odisha is still abiding by the pact, Chhattisgarh (after being carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000) is vehemently flouting the clauses of the agreement and violating the federal law, Acharya alleged.

Reacting to Acharya’s comments, Odisha BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra said that the Naveen Patnaik-led government should first concentrate on the works that can be done to ensure water for the people of Odisha.

“There is no point in what Chhattisgarh is saying. When Odisha approached SC demanding stay on the construction of barrages by the Chhattisgarh government on the upper catchment of Mahanadi and formation of a tribunal to resolve the issue, the SC didn’t say anything related to the stay-order demand. The BJP had then proposed resolving the dispute through mutual discussions but the Odisha government refused. Subsequently, a tribunal was formed.

– said Mohapatra.

So, the Odisha government should now wait for the tribunal to resolve the issue, he added.

Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati said that Mahanadi flows through Chhattisgarh and Odisha and so both the states should settle the matter amicably through discussions.

Meanwhile, the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has issued notices to Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to nominate representative by August 6, 2018 for adjudication of the Mahanadi water dispute.