BJD to disrupt Parliament session over Mahanadi dispute
Odisha’s ruling party Biju Janta Dal has said it will disrupt the upcoming winter session of Parliament that starts from December 15 after the Centre refused to intervene in a water dispute involving Mahanadi riverindia Updated: Dec 07, 2017 15:21 IST
Odisha’s ruling party Biju Janta Dal has said it will disrupt the upcoming winter session of Parliament that starts from December 15 after the Centre refused to intervene in a water dispute involving Mahanadi river with Chhattisgarh.
The Odisha government wrote to the Centre seeking a tribunal over the dispute that began after neighbouring Chhattisgarh started building a barrage on the river that flows through the two states but the demand was turned down on Wednesday.
According to Odisha, the new projects disrupt the flow of water to the Hirakud Dam, a major source of irrigation to both the states. Chhattisgarh says the barrages only collect rainwater and do not affect the flow of the river.
The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it was not in favour of forming a tribunal under the water disputes act and wants the matter to be amicably settled between the two states.
Leaders of the BJD told the Hindustan Times they will also try to secure the support from other parties, just as it got in the state, against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue.
“This is a political ploy. The BJP-led government at the Centre doesn’t want barrage construction work to be delayed in Chhattisgarh. So, a year after we appealed, they said no, giving the Chhattisgarh government precious time to carry on the project,” BJD’s Lok Sabha leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said.
The Navin Patnaik-led party has often supported the BJP on several key bills and issues, creating a rift in the opposition camp. Its support came handy for the BJP in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is still in minority.
The BJD has secured the support of its arch rival Congress and erstwhile allies like the Left parties to take on the BJP at the Centre.
“We are political rivals. We don’t want to join hands in politics but for Mahanadi, we will fight together. Our demands are same. We want a tribunal,” Congress’ Narasingha Mishra, leader of Opposition in Odisha assembly, said.
“The committee, which was formed by the Centre to talk to the two states, held two meetings and submitted any further meeting would not be fruitful,” Mishra, who recently organised an all-party meeting in Bhubaneswar, added.