Mahanadi river disputer is one of the key issues raised in the upcoming Bijepur byelection in Odisha. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan attacked the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for the over the availability of Mahanadi river for the people of Bijepur.
During the campaign, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, " People here are angry as the government couldn't make water available for them in last 18 years. This useless government of Biju Janata Dal will receive a befitting response from people in Bijepur byelection."
Odisha and neighboring Chhattisgarh have locked horns over the sharing of Mahanadi river. Consequently, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh's name doesn't figure in the list of star campaigners for Bijepur bypoll, as per reports.
Odisha government alleged that the Centre is playing a partisan role rather than being a neutral umpire to resolve the dispute between the two states. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the formation of a tribunal is the only way to resolve the Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh. The two states have been at loggerheads for the past three years over the sharing of Mahanadi waters.
BJD candidate Rita Sahu, Pranay Sahu of Congress and Ashok Panigrahi are in the fray for February 24 by-elections. The result of the by-election will be declared on February 28.