Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today raked up the Mahanadi river issue and said his government has been able to foil a major “conspiracy” against Odisha. Patnaik alleged that the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh had hatched a conspiracy to obstruct flow of water in Mahanadi by constructing projects on upstream of the river.
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s direction to the Central government to constitute a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh,” he said here while campaigning for the February 24 by-elections in Bijepur Assembly.
The by-poll in the Bijepur segment was necessitated due to the death of former Congress MLA Subal Sahu. His wife Rita Sahu is contesting from the seat.
“I am confident that Rita Sahu can change the picture of Bijepur if blessed by the people,” Patnaik said.
Meanwhile, Opposition BJP also intensified its poll campaign, with Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ram Kripal Yadav pitching for party candidate Ashok Panigrahi.
Yadav came down heavily on the BJD government in Odisha, holding Patnaik responsible for the “backwardness” of Bijepur as well as the state.
Talking about yesterday’s shoe attack on Patnaik, he said, “The incident is the sign of the anger of people against the state government and the chief minister.”
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, too, campaigned for BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi for the third consecutive day and appealed to people to dislodge the BJD government for the sake of overall development of the region.
For the Congress, senior state leaders including OPCC chief Prasad Harichandan and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra campaigned for the party.
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