Opposition seeks clarification from Patnaik on Mahanadi issue

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly today witnessed repeated adjournments over Mahanadi river water dispute with opposition Congress and BJP demanding specific clarification from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the issue, a debate on which was held on Saturday.

The opposition members alleged that the Chief Minister did not reply to their questions in the Assembly and “behaved like the president” of the ruling BJD instead of being leader of the House as well as the state.

“We are disappointed over the Chief Minister’s statement on Mahanadi issue. It is really unfortunate that the Leader of the House did not behave as such. I am of opinion that he failed to give leadership to the House.

“He may be a good leader for his ruling BJD, but neither he is leader of the House nor a statesman,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra alleged.

Asserting that what the Chief Minister had said in his statement on Mahandi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh on Saturday will not solve the issue, he claimed, “The Chief Minister gave one-sided replay. He must reply to questions raised by the opposition during the debate.”

Mishra said during the marathon debate, he had asked what steps the state government had taken after Patnaik assured the House that Chhattishgarh will not allowed to proceed on with its construction activities in 2001.

“On April 10, 2001, Patnaik had said the Chhattishgarh would not be allowed to go on with construction activities.

What steps has the state government taken in the last 15 years,” Mishra asked.

In 2001 BJD was part of the NDA government at the Centre and a party MP was the Union Water Resources Minister.

Chhattishgarh was also ruled by BJP government, he said.

The Congress leader said, “This House has all the rights to know what the state government has done in the last 15 years to stop Chhattisngharh’s construction. The Chief Minister must inform the House about his government’s steps so far.” .