Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) have locked horns over Mahanadi again ahead of the 2024 Elections.

The BJP took a dig at the ruling party during a programme, ‘Mahanadi Akhire Luha’ (Tears in Mahanadi’s eyes) held on the banks of the river in Sambalpur recently.

The saffron party slammed the BJD by terming it responsible for the pollution of Mahanadi water.

As per the allegations by the BJP, the State government couldn’t construct a single barrage on Mahanadi. The party further alleged that the ongoing dispute between Odisha and the neighbouring state Chhattisgarh is still going on which shows that the ruling party has not done anything for the last 25 years and the Mahanadi issue is a glaring example of it.

“Mahanadi is crying today. Its water is not usable anymore. Pollution Control Board has already issued warning not to bathe in the polluted water of the river,” said BJP leader Pramod Rath.

“Lakhs of Odisha people depend upon Mahanadi for their livelihood. However, the water of the river has been highly polluted and the BJD government has done nothing to clean the river in the last 25 years. The ongoing dispute between Odisha and neighbouring Chhattisgarh is still continuing and the Odisha government has not constructed a single barrage over Mahanadi,” he added.

Meanwhile, responding to the allegations by the BJP, the BJD made counter-allegations that the saffron party has worked against the interest of Odisha and Mahanadi in the past.

“Once Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had gone against the interest of Odisha and worked in favour of Chhattisgarh. Everybody knows how he had worked to dry up Mahanadi which is the lifeline of Odisha people. Mainly, the people of Sambalpur have been severely affected by it. He had even tried to stop the Mahanadi Tribunal,” said BJD leader Sanjay Babu.