Bhubaneswar: A day after the Centre told the Supreme Court that there is no need of an inter-state tribunal in the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of Mahanadi river water, the development today rocked the Odisha Assembly leading to adjournments.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, Opposition Congress members rushed to the well of the House shouting slogans against the Central and Odisha governments. The ruling BJD members also raised slogans against the Centre standing near their seats.
Amid pandemonium, Speaker Pradip Amat adjourned the House till 3 pm.
Noisy scenes prevailed after the House reassembled at 3.32 pm as BJD and BJP members created ruckus standing near their seats over the Mahanadi issue. The Speaker again adjourned the House till 6 pm and called for an all-party meeting at 5 pm.
“The Centre had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding formation of a tribunal by November 19. However, they declined the need of a tribunal yesterday. This is a betrayal to Odisha. Protesting it, we expressed our resentment in the House today,” said BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy speaking to reporters outside the House.
“The BJD government was indulged in doing politics over the Mahanadi issue by shedding crocodile tears and they were exposed yesterday in the Supreme Court. To suppress the matter, they created ruckus in the House today. I strongly condemn it. The state government should move the apex court with proper facts instead of creating din in the Assembly,” said BJP MLA Pradip Purohit outside the House.
“Both the Central and Odisha governments have failed to protect the interests of the people of the state. Today I stood in the House to draw the attention of the Speaker for cancelling the Question Hour in order to hold discussion over the issue. However, the Speaker didn’t allow me to speak and adjourned the House,” said Leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra outside the House.
Notably, the Odisha government had written to the Centre for constitution of an inter-state tribunal under section 3 of the Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (IRWD Act) to resolve the Mahanadi water sharing dispute between Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
The Odisha government had also moved the apex court seeking a stay on construction of projects upstream of Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh government.