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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 2: 

Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra today sent out his third letter on Mahanadi water dispute asking political parties to attend the meeting scheduled to be held at a city based hotel at 11 AM tomorrow.

NARASINGHA MISHRA

While BJP and Left parties confirmed that they will join the meeting tomorrow to discuss Chhattisgarh Government’s construction of barrages on the upper catchment of Mahanadi, ruling Biju Janata Dal said that it would stay away from it.

“After due deliberation on the chain of events, Biju Janata Dal has decided to stay away from the Congress convened all-party meeting. The Union Government’s Central Water Commission approved the Kelo Project while Congress was in power. We would like to know what Congress did to stop it,” said BJD General Secretary and Odisha Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra speaking to reporters today.

“More than the Mahanadi water dispute, some of the political entities and people are fighting for their survival in politics. We are serious on the issue and there is no question of making any compromises,” said BJD Spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy.

BJD leader Damodar Rout, however, had a different view.

“When it comes to a matter of public interest, the interest of Odisha, it cannot be a party affair. Everyone should rise above party politics and co-operate,” said Rout without naming his party directly.

LoP Mishra, on the other hand, said that he still hopes all parities to turn up in the meeting.

“We are determined to protect the interests of the state. We have requested all the political parties to join the meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow at 11 AM. I yesterday wrote to the Chief Minister asking him to attend the meeting. We should all try and protect the interests of the state. I still hope that all the parties would attend the meeting,” said an optimistic sounding Mishra.

BJP, on the other hand, took a dig BJD over the issue.

“BJD has decided not to attend it. Probably they are worried that opposition parties are going to ask them about the steps the government has taken in past 16 years. They do not have sufficient data to justify their claims,” said BJP MLA Pradip Purohit.”

“This could be a conspiracy to fail the all-party meet. It will alienate BJD further in Odisha politics. They are probably trying to play down the message that would emerge out the meeting. The meeting, anyway, will be a success,” he added.