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Devbrat Patnaik

Cuttack: With the dispute over Mahanadi River water sharing between Odisha and Chhattisgarh failing to reach a consensus, Union Minister Uma Bharti made a startling revelation during her visit to Odisha on Thursday. The senior BJP leader accused a bureaucrat of influencing CM Naveen Patnaik during a meeting held to resolve the ongoing Mahandi dispute.

"An IAS officer tried to mislead Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik during a meeting held to resolve the Mahanadi Dispute. I had then personally asked him not to intervene and let Naveen Da speak his own ideas," said Uma Bharti, the former Water Resources Minister, while addressing the party's Vijay Sankalp Samabesh in Cuttack. However, she did not name the concerned IAS officer as according to her, the bureaucrat was not seen in the subsequent meetings.

Also indirectly targeting Naveen Patnaik, Uma said, "I have always prayed for his (Naveen's) good health. But Odisha should become free from him now. Because he is having an excellent relationship with the Kennedy family of the US, I thought his thinking also should be modern and advanced. However, his ideas have dragged Odisha backwards."

Meanwhile, responding to Uma Bharti's statements, BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra accused the BJP of supporting Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi issue. "People of Odisha will never forgive BJP for supporting the illegal works carried out by Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi issue," said Patra.

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