With new govt in Chhattisgarh, Odisha Congress hopeful of solution to Mahanadi issue

Bhubaneswar: With the Congress set to form government in Chhattisgarh, the Odisha unit of the party is quite optimistic that the inter-state Mahanadi river water dispute with the neighbouring state could now see a silver lining.

Odisha PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik on Tuesday expressed confidence that the new poll results in Chhattisgarh could spur a new development to resolve the lingering conflict between both the states.

“We are extremely happy that Congress has got the historic mandate in Chhattisgarh. The BJP and BJD had pushed Odisha towards drought and hardship. With Congress in power in Chhattisgarh, we can be hopeful of some relief for Odisha on the Mahanadi issue,” Patnaik said while talking to mediapersons during party’s celebrations after the election results.

Responding to Patnaik’s comments, BJD leader Arun Sahu said that the ruling party will wait and see if the new government in Chhatisgarh takes any decision regarding the issue.

“We had warned the ruling-BJP government in Chhattisgarh to find an amicable solution to the water dispute but it did not listen and now it lost power. We will wait and watch what the new Congress government’s does to resolve the conflict,” said Sahoo.

Odisha has been opposing the unilateral construction of projects by the neighbouring state on the upstream of Mahanadi river as it will affect the flow of water.

The matter is now pending in a tribunal as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh refused to stop construction activities on the river.

On the other hand, former Chhattisgarh PCC Chief and senior Congress leader Dhanendra Sahu today affirmed that the new government about to be formed in the State will give prime importance to the water dispute.

“With the Congress set to form govt in Chhattisgarh, our attempts would be to give prime importance to Mahanadi water issue which can be resolved through joint efforts of the State and Odisha governments,” said Sahu.