**Bhubaneswar: ** In the wake of Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik’s outright rejection of Centre’s Negotiation Committee proposal formed for resolving the ongoing Mahanadi water sharing dispute with neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan later accusing Odisha CM of being an obstacle, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra on Tuesday pooh-poohed such a stand by his own party colleague.
Reacting sharply, Bijay Mohapatra said, “I don’t understand why all are playing a ball game over the serous issue? Everyone is grinding his own political axe. No one is batting for Odisha’s interest.”
Elucidating he remarked, “Had it been viewed as Odisha’s interest, Centre should have preferred constitution of a tribunal because its verdict would bind all to abide by. There ought to be one voice for the sake of Odisha’s interest putting aside political affiliations.”
On Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s recent statement over the serious Mahanadi issue, he said, “He has already given five kinds of statements. Hence, I don’t wish to comment on him. He shouldn’t deliver different statements on the same issue. I had told and reiterate that the Prime Minister, if wishes, can intervene into it. If resolved at that juncture, it augurs well or else the State Government should opt for Tribunal. Centre should also volunteer proposal that there should be a tribunal formed to resolve the Mahanadi water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Whatever the court decides.”
Notably, Odisha Chief Minister rejected the Centre’s negotiation committee on Saturday last week dashing a letter to the Prime Minister while the Union Petroleum Minister on Sunday termed the CM a stumbling block only to gain political ends.
Reacting to the statement of Bijay Mohapatra, his BJP colleague Golak Mohapatra said, “Before delivering media statement, it would have been better if he would have made prior consultation either with Dharmendra Pradhan or with the party. It’s solely his personal view not of BJP party’s.”
“I would like to remind you that the BJD-led State Government had spent over Rs 30 lakh in a bid to scuttle CBI probe into the chit fund scam here. For the Mahanadi issue, the State Government neither had any interest earlier nor has now. The State Government’s sole aim is to make it a political issue,” he lambasted.
Senior journalist Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra in his reactions said, “The people of Odisha have already realised that all political parties are politicking over the issue. The ruling BJD and opposition, chiefly the Congress and BJP, are politicking over the Mahanadi issue. Competition is on in a bid to gain political mileage from it and steal a march over each other. An impartial high level panel should resolve the water sharing dispute so that Odisha’s interest is served indeed.”