Raman Singh faces Mahanadi heat

Bhubaneswar: Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh might have said it will take three minutes to resolve the Mahanadi issue if both State heads sit together, but before speaking this at a public meeting in Bolangir district on Thursday, he faced protests from ruling BJD and Congress at different places of the district.

While the BJD staged “Jal Satyagraha” at Sambalpur and Cuttack protesting the visit of Singh to the State, the Congress party demonstrated for the same in Loisinga block of Bolangir district where Singh addressed a gathering. The Congress too distributed leaflets at the meeting place opposing the BJP’s decision to make Singh as the star campaigner in the upcoming panchayat polls.

“The Chhattisgarh government has constructed barrages on the Mahanadi river unilaterally which will affected the interest of Odisha. The Central government has also remained silent over the issue instead of directing Chhattisgarh to stop construction works immediately,” said BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera.

“It’s a silent protest by us. We request the Chhattisgarh government not to snatch the legitimate right of the farmers of Odisha to draw water from Mahanadi,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said.

The saffron party which has been defending its decision to make Singh as the party’s campaigner in the State said the protests will have no impact on the voters.

“I don’t think there is less flow of water in Mahanadi for Odisha as alleged by the ruling party. The Centre has clearly stated to solve the issue. I believe the party’s Jal Satyagrah will not have any impact on the Odisha voters,” BJP’s Golak Mohapatra said.

The dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the Mahanadi has continued for long, since the construction of barrages by the latter state on the river and its tributaries has allegedly affected the flow of water into Odisha.