BJP asks Naveen to refrain from politicising Mahanadi issue

Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Thursday asked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to refrain from politicising the Mahanadi river water issue in the greater interest of the people.

"The chief minister should refrain from politicising the matter and especially when the decision to fight for Mahanadi has been taken unanimously by all parties," BJP state president Basant Panda, told reporters.

Panda said this after the ruling BJD MLAs along with opposition Congress members shouted anti-Centre and anti-Narendra Modi slogans in the Assembly, as the Centre has not set up a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Though 13 political parties including BJD and Congress, joined the Save Mahanadi "satyagraha", the BJP kept itself away from the agitation.

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo, who attended the all party meeting convened by Assembly Speaker P K Amat, said that his party was all prepared to fight for the Odisha's rights over Mahanadi river. However, the state government and the ruling party should take the opposition parties into confidence.

While defending the BJP led Central government, Singhdeo said that the Centre has not refused to set up a tribunal for resolving the Mahanadi dispute.

"They (Centre) have told the Supreme Court that Odisha's demand of setting up a tribunal is not backed by evidences," Singhdeo said.

In its affidavit before the Supreme Court, the Centre has told the Supreme Court that the ongoing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the Mahanadi river should be sorted out through negotiations between the concerned parties.

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