Ruling-BJD slams BJP over ‘U-turn’ on Mahanadi water row

Bhubaneswar: A day after Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated Chhattisgarh is at fault in the Mahanadi water dispute, the ruling-BJD in Odisha today claimed that the saffron party has no clarity on the whole issue.

The regional party alleged that leaders of the saffron party including the Union Minister and even the Prime Minister are changing their statements on issue repeatedly. It claimed BJP’s stance is not clear on the Mahanadi water dispute.

BJD vice president, Debi Prasad Mishra stated in a presser that “To divert the attention from the Mahanadi issue, BJP leaders including the Union Minister are making statements that show their double standards. They are making an effort to protect themselves.”

BJD general secretary, Sanjay Dasburma said that his party will soon chalk out plans to launch another phase of protests over the Mahanadi water dispute.

Talks are abuzz that BJP is on the back foot in fear of losing public support as BJD has intensified its Mahanadi Suraksha Abhiyan.

However, BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya refuted that the party has taken a U-turn and said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been advocating in favour of the State.

“Pradhan’s argument is very clear on the issue and it is not a U-turn. He has always laid emphasis on the interest of the people of Odisha,” Acharya stated.

Earlier today Odisha Congress chief, Niranjan Patnaik said that his party will soon call for a State-wide bandh on Mahanadi water dispute. Both the Centre and ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-led Odisha government are responsible for the Mahanadi water crisis, he added.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of supporting the Chhattisgarh government, Patnaik said that the former refrained from giving any assurance to Odisha during his recent visit to Cuttack.