Centre Fails To Motivate

Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari today failed to convince the BJD MPs who today were in no mood to come to negotiation to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.


The BJD MPs- Bhartuhari Mahatab, Kalikesh Singhdeo, Nagendra Pradhan and Arjun Sethi, were no mood to be listen Mr.Gadkari unless the Centre ask Chhattisgarh to stop project works being constructed on upstream of Mahanadi.


Though Union Minister tried to impress upon the BJD MPs in Lok Sabha that he would resolve the dispute through negotiation, there was no takers.

Even Mr.Gadkari said that he has been resolve dispute between states within his three months in charge of  Ministry of Water Resources.

“The Union Minister attempted to take us for a ride. But, we demanded the Centre to ask Chhattisgarh to stop work and then come for discussion,” Mr.Singhdeo said.


BJD Parliamentary Party leader in Lok Sabha Bhartuhari Mahatab was critical to centre and told in the House the reason behind Odisha Government not ready to come for discussion.


Mr.Mahatab said former Water Resources Minister, Uma Bharti had categorically that the Centre cannot ask the Chhattisgarh  to stop work . “If you cannot ask Chhattisgarh to stop work, how you will solve the dispute. Therefore, Odisha demands a tribunal which has the authority to issue a stop work order to Chhattisgarh,” Mr.Mahatab said.


The performance of BJD MPs in the Lok Sabha was brilliant as all the four members could successfully put forth the state’s demand.


Meanwhile, the ruling BJD in Odisha has rejected Mr.Gadkari's proposal to settle the Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh through dialogue.

BJD Spokesperson Prashanta  Nanda said that discussions on the matter would make sense only after the Chhattisgarh government halts construction work on the river.

"There is no point in discussing the issue with Chhattisgarh as the Central Government has not asked the neighboring state to stop construction work along the upstream of the river Mahanadi," Nanda told reporters.

The BJD's reaction came minutes after Mr.Gadkari, while replying to a series of questions on the Mahanadi river issue in the Lok Sabha, requested the Odisha Government to settle the dispute with Chhattisgarh through negotiations.

The Union Minister also justified the central government's move to decline the BJD government's proposal to form a tribunal in the case and said records show it only delayed solution.

Mr.Nanda said it was a ploy of the BJP-led central government to help Chhattisgarh in carrying out 'illegal' construction work.

"The State Government, in view of the interests of Odisha people, cannot go to the negotiation table unless Chhattisgarh stops construction work. Mr.Gadkari's request is just a part of a conspiracy hatched against Odisha," he asserted.

Uma Bharati, during her tenure as the Minister, Water Resources  had also categorically said that the Centre cannot ask Chhattisgarh to stop project work on Mahanadi, the BJD's Parliamentary Party leader Bhartruhari Mahatab said in the Lok Sabha.

The Odisha unit of the BJP, however, welcomed Mr.Gadkari's proposal and accused the state's BJD government of politicizing the issue.

"As a tribunal takes 20 to 30 years to resolve water disputes between states, it is better to solve the matter through discussion," BJP State Vice-President Samir Mohanty said.

The opposition Congress, on its part, blamed both the BJD and the BJP for the dispute.

"The State Government had initially allowed the Chhattisgarh government to initiate construction work on the Mahanadi. Now, they are opposing it...The BJP is also politicizing the matter as the party is in power in Chhattisgarh," senior Congress leader Sarat Rout said.

Samajwadi Party's State President Rabi Behera today wrote to Mr.Gadkari, stressing on the need to create a congenial atmosphere for the discussions to happen.


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