Naveen reiterates demand for PM’s intervention in Mahanadi issue

Bhubaneswar: It seems chief minister Naveen Patnaik doesn’t want to pursue a legal fight to resolve the Mahanadi water sharing issue with Chhattisgarh, if his public address on Sunday during the party’s Jan Sampark Jatra is anything to go by. Patnaik sought Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s intervention in this regard, two days after urging the latter for the same.

“Mahanadi is the lifeline of Odisha…I hope that the Prime Minister will intervene in the issue and help people to get their rights,” the CM said while launching the party’s Jan Sampark Jatra here.

On September 30, in a move which seems to be a climb down from his earlier stand, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and said he can resolve the issue if he wants. He stated, good relations between the two states are necessary to strengthen the federal system of the country. He requested the Prime Minister to ask the Chhattisgarh government to stop construction activities in the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi river.
Besides, there will be no need for the Odisha government to take legal action in the matter if the Prime Minister intervened in the matter, Naveen said in a letter.

Naveen’s proposal, presumed to be after the failure of the tripartite meet in New Delhi last month, however mentioned that the Odisha government will accept any such mechanism in which the water in Mahanadi river will be of 1960 level. This proposal was in contrast to the State government’s decision after the tripartite meet in which it decided to follow legal course to resolve the issue.

Reacting on the development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said both the leaders need to work for the rights of the State.

“Not only Prime Minister Modi should intervene for the rights of Odisha but Naveen Patnaik should also equally present the fact before the Centre to fight for the people of Odisha,” BJP’s national secretary Suresh Pujari said.