BJD doesn’t want solution on Mahanadi: Uma Bharati

Bhubaneswar: Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharati on Thursday criticised the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for taking the Mahanadi issue to the streets despite a consent between Odisha and Chhattishgarh a few days ago to settle the matter through a joint control board (JCB).

Reacting to the ‘rail roko’, a token agitation by BJD on Wednesday to protest the construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh government on the Mahanadi upstream, the minister said that the ruling party only wants to politicise the issue.

“Since both the States have agreed to solve the matter, the agitation by BJD suggests that they are neither concerned about the problem nor want a solution of the matter. They only want to politicise the issue,” Bharati said in what constitutes scathing criticism of the BJD government.

The minister condemned the approach of the party towards the issue.

“We don’t want injustice to any of the States involved…. If they (BJD) have decided to take the war path and agitation, I am condemning it,” she noted.

Meanwhile, the BJD has said the minister’s statement is not acceptable.

“We are not politicising the issue; rather the minister’s statement is adding political colour to the matter. If the Chhattisgarh government really wants a solution in the matter, why is it not stopping construction of the projects on the river?” asked BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera.