Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday called upon his party workers to sensitise the general public on how the BJP government is working against the welfare of the state.

Blaming the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre at the "Mahanadi Mahasammelani" symposium at party headquarters in Bhubaneswar, Patnaik said, “The Chhattisgarh government and the BJP govt at the centre are not only obstructing the Mahanadi water inflow into the state but also opposing setting up of a tribunal to resolve the issue.”

The BJD Supremo briefed the gathering about the ‘Green Mahanadi’ movement under which lakhs of trees will be planted on both sides of Mahanadi river.

Addressing party members, BJD leader Sanjay Das Verma said, “Chhattisgarh government has started illegal construction of dam over Mahanadi which will slowly dry it up. Our party workers must go to the people and educate them about the evil intentions of the BJP government at Centre and Chhattisgarh and how they have left Odisha to suffer.”

Speaking on the occasion, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who recently joined the party and got elected to Rajya Sabha as the MP, proposed to quit his post for Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan if he agrees to take up the issue in parliament and fight for the state.

"Dharmendra Pradhan must prove the state is more important to him rather than the party. I am ready to leave my post, for him so that he may fight in the Parliament in the interest of the state ,” he said.

“BJP is against the welfare of Odisha. It was evident when we raised the issue in the parliament,” said Lok Sabha MP Tathagata Sathpathy.

In a counter-attack, BJP leader Sameer Mohanty said, "It is unfortunate that the chief minister is holding BJP responsible for Mahanadi water problem. People of Odisha have already understood the inability of Naveen Patnaik and that’s the reason BJD is distressed.”

Odisha has been opposing Chhattisgarh's plans to build 13 barrages and seven pick up weirs (small dams) across Mahanadi river in order to extract more water. The state government has raised objections citing that such constructions would adversely affect the farmers.