Congress MLAs to take Mahanadi issue to President

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 28: With the Odisha government rejecting their proposal for a joint fight against construction on the upstream of river Mahanadi, the Congress Legislature Party today said they will take the matter to the President.

"A delegation of Congress MLAs will meet the President and apprise him of the adverse impact of Chhattisgarh's project on river Mahanadi. We welcome all MLAs cutting across party lines to accompany us to the Raisina Hills," Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said in the Assembly.

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The agitating MLAs, who had paralysed the proceedings of the House for two days, however, cooperated with the government in the Assembly during the post-lunch session after the CLP took a decision to meet the President.

The CLP's decision in this regard came after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in his Saturday speech on the Mahanadi issue, blamed both the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA for "unilateral" construction activities on the upstream of river Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government.

He had also accused the Centre of taking Chattisgarh's side in the issue. Terming Patnaik's statement as "politically motivated", Mishra said "We had offered support to the state government in its fight against Chhattisgarh's unilateral construction.

But the Chief Minister chose to blame the opposition instead." Mishra said his party MLAs have decided to take the matter to the President and request him to use his good office to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute."

"No one should have any doubt that the Chief Minister is doing politics over the Mahanadi issue. However, so far as meeting the President is concerned, we will only join them if they plan on an all-party delegation. We have no reason to join a Congress delegation otherwise," BJP Legislature Party leader in Odisha Assembly K V Singh Deo said.

The ruling BJD said the Chief Minister has already announced that the state government has been taking both administrative and legal actions for stopping the construction by Chhattisgarh government. "We will take the shelter of law," BJD spokesman and MLA Samir Ranjan Dash said.

PTI 

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