Odisha Assembly Paralysed Over Mahanadi Issue, Cong & BJP Slam Govt For Its Role

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes as opposition BJP and Congress created pandemonium over Mahanadi water dispute issue on Thursday. Proceedings were paralysed and the House was adjourned till 4 pm.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, opposition members raised the issue and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra demanded discussion on the Mahanadi river water by suspending the question hour.

Hitting out at the state government over the issue, Congress and BJP legislators accused it of having failed to take any concrete step for resolving the dispute with Chhattisgarh and keeping its promise of constructing barrages.

Alleging that the Mahanadi has dried up due to “callous” attitude of the state government, BJP members sought a discussion on all issues relating to the Mahanadi, including steps taken by the Odisha government to resolve the water row.

They also wanted that Mahanadi issue be discussed through a special motion by suspending the question hour.

Congress lawmakers, on their part, blamed both the Centre and Odisha government for diminishing water flow in Mahanadi and sought a discussion.

As the agitating members created ruckus and stormed the well amid slogan-shouting, the proceedings were stalled and Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha adjourned the House till 4 pm.

Mounting a scathing attack on the BJD government over the issue, Narasingha Mishra told reporters outside the House that the ruling party created noise in the Assembly over Mahanadi water on Wednesday, but his plea for discussion by skipping the question hour went unheeded today.

Accusing the BJD government of not being serious about resolving the row, the veteran Congress leader claimed that the state government is trying to avoid discussion fearing that its failure will get exposed.

Countering the opposition attack, senior BJD legislator and former Minister Pratap Jena told reporters that the ruling party is keen to have a discussion on Mahanadi issue, which was raised by its members in the House on Wednesday. The Speaker also directed the Water Resources Minister to make a statement, he said.

However, the opposition parties need to give notice for adjournment motion for discussion instead of creating ruckus during the question hour, he said.

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