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Dharmendra’s U-turn on Mahanadi more out of compulsion: BJD

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s ruling party, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today termed Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s U-turn on Mahanadi as an act out of compulsion in the prevailing situation rather than out of sincerity towards the issue.

“Had Pradhan said the same thing two and a half years back we would have been happier. I feel the reason behind his making such a statement now is more out of compulsion and less out of sincerity towards the issue,” said BJD Rajya Sabha MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik addressing a presser at the BJD office here today.

“Since elections are approaching, their debacle at Bijepur bypolls and elsewhere in the country and our second phase movement on Mahanadi  getting mass support has forced the Union Minister to change his stance,” opined Patnaik.

BJD general secretary Sanjay Das Burma, who also addressed the press conference said that if the Union Minister was speaking earnestly he should immediately meet the Prime Minister, discharge his federal responsibilities and advise the BJP government in Chhattisgarh to stop work on barrages being built on the Mahanadi.

Notably, Pradhan had today said at a press conference in Sambalpur that the water flow into the Mahanadi’s lower catchment area has been affected due to the construction of barrages in the upper catchment areas in Chhattisgarh.

Earlier, the BJP had been holding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for the Mahanadi crisis.