Mahanadi dispute: Centre flayed for not setting up inter-state tribunal

BJP skips all-party meet on Mahanadi river water sharing dispute

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mahanadi bachao andolan
File image of Mahanadi Banhao Andolan activists staging a demonstration.

Bhubaneswar: The all-party meeting convened by Mahanadi Banchao
Andolan on Sunday decided to raise the issue regarding unilateral
construction of dams and barrages on Mahanadi river by Chhattisgarh
government in the state assembly and the Parliament. It decided to request Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to convene an all-party meeting over the issue.

At the meeting attended by representatives of almost all parties, excluding
BJP, approved five proposals including intensifying the judicial and
democratic agitation for protection of Mahanadi river, to stage
dharna before Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneswar and in New Delhi over the
issue.

Members of the Mahanadi Banchao Andolan condemned the Centre’s act of allegedly
disrespecting the Indian Constitution by not setting up a inter-state tribunal to
resolve the water-sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh
governments.

Senior leaders of eleven political parties like Debi Prasad Mishra and
Pratap Deb from BJD; Niranjan Patnaik and Ganeswar Behera from
Congress; Jambeswar Behera of CPI (M); Ramakrushna Panda and
Narayan Reddy (both CPI); Arya Gnanendra from Trinamool Congress and Hemant Rath (Kalinga Sena), attended the meeting.

BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said, “We will continue our fight for Mahanadi river water through judicial, democratic and legislative means.”

Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said it was of paramount importance to secure Odisha’s legitimate share of Mahanadi river water to safeguard the interests of its people. “Instead of playing politics over the issue, it will be right to start working for the people of the state,” he added.

BJP leaders defended their absence at the meeting. Senior BJP leader Prithwiraj Harichandan said the Centre had agreed to constitute a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi river water row and that the all-party meeting had no relevance.

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