BJP’s anti-Odisha stand, double-speak & support to Chhattisgarh exposed: BJD

Bhubanewar: Ruling BJD says BJP’s anti-Odisha stand, double-speak & support to Chhattisgarh exposed. This was informed by the Biju Janata Dal, Spokesperson & MP Pratap Keshari Deb said to media.

It should be noted that Supreme Court today directed the Centre to setup the Tribunal for adjudicating on the inter-state dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh relating to the Mahandi issue and the construction of illegal barrages on the upper stream of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh.

Party said with this verdict by the Supreme Court, the stand taken by the Odisha Government and the Biju Janata Dal has been vindicated. Over the past two years Biju Janata Dal waged this lonely battle against Chhattisgarh while the NDA Government preferred to silently support Chhattisgarh on this issue. All of this started in 2016 when the Odisha Government came to know through a DPR of Arpa-Bhaisajhar project submitted by Chhattisgarh for CWC clearance without taking due consent and no objection from the Government in Odisha. The Biju Janata Dal as a political party and the Odisha Government took this up immediately with the Centre. On 4th July, 2016 the Biju Janata Dal led the fight by bringing this issue to the forefront before the people of Odisha.

The Chief Minister of Odisha Shri.Naveen Patnaik wrote to the Union Minister of Water Resources Smt.Uma Bharti and she agreed to adjudicate in this matter. She called for a meeting of both the states’ Chief Secretaries which failed, following which she intervened and invited both the states’ Chief Ministers for a tripartite meeting. In the meeting, Odisha Chief Minister proposed that a Joint Expert Committee maybe formed which should be given three months time and during the effort of the Expert Committee, the work should stop to which the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister did not agree due to which the tripartite meeting failed. The Odisha CM looking to the gravity of the issue requested the Hon’ble Prime Minister to intervene but did not get any reply. All this while the stand of the Odisha BJP and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was never clear. First they talked about the need for a Joint Control Board which later shifted to River Board while their stand for the tribunal was never clear. Rather they claimed that the BJD was raising these issues for political reasons.

Seeing that there was no response from the Prime Minister’s Office and no clear direction to Chhattisgarh from DoWR, the Government of Odisha decided to move to Supreme Court with 789 page document stating the problems the state will face.

The Supreme Court took cognizance of this matter and directed the Central Government to put forward its views. In the meanwhile the Mahanadi issue was raised in the Parliament by the Biju Janata Dal MPs and to the queries of the MPs, the then Minister of Water Resources in his written and verbal reply had categorically stated that the tripartite talks had failed between the states and a tribunal should be made but the Central Government is planning to form a single tribunal to address all such problems for which they have moved a bill in the Parliament.
The same has been stated by the Government of India counsel in the Supreme Court to which the Odisha Government stated that since it would take a long time for the law to be passed, the Mahanadi tribunal should be amalgamated with the tribunal as and when it finally comes up.

In October 2017, the counsel for DoWR categorically stated in Supreme Court that by November 19th , 2017 a tribunal would be formed but the Central Government took a U-turn and categorically stated that the formation of the tribunal is not feasible and the Government of Odisha should be penalized for not attending negotiation committee meetings and providing wrong information to which the Odisha Government pointed out that so far DoWR never asked for any queries though they have the entire document submitted by the Government of Odisha to the Supreme Court. On the other hand, even Chhattisgarh did not attend any meeting and the same has been justified by the Minister on the floor of both the houses of the Parliament. So it can be clearly derived that the DoWR is taking a political decision in favour of Chhattisgarh because it is also a BJP ruled state and due for elections in September 2018.

Taking all these things into consideration, Hon’ble Supreme Court has rightly ruled in favout of the stand taken by Government of Odisha and the Biju Janata Dal. This raises the question about the acts and words of the Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party. Their actions have been anti-Odisha and anti-farmers. The BJP in Odisha has openly worked as spokespersons of Chhattisgarh and in doing so have done a great disservice to their own state and its people. The Union Ministers like Dharmendra Pradhan have been changing stands suiting the interests of the Central Government and the BJP ruled Chhattisgarh Government. The BJP today stands exposed with its double speak and anti-Odisha stand today. The people of Odisha will never forget or forgive the betrayal by BJP on the issue of Mahanadi.


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