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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 22: 

Opposition Congress and BJP today criticized the Odisha Government following a statement issued by ruling Biju Janata Dal Spokesperson Pratap Deb wherein he said that the government departments at times provide false information in the Assembly.

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Reacting to the statement, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, “We all consider the Assembly as a sacred place. The Chief Minister, however, lied to the House time and again — even on an issue as sensitive as the Mahanadi water sharing dispute. The Spokesperson exposed his lies. We condemn it”.

“The departments never provide false information. The Chief Minister did, and as a representative of the Chief Minister, Raghunath Mohanty did. This is an insult to the democracy,” said Odisha BJP President Basant Panda.

Deb made the comment today when reporters questioned him about the discrepancy in data presented in Assembly in 2010 and the data submitted to the Union Government recently for formation of a tribunal on Mahanadi water sharing dispute with Chhattisgarh.

“Government departments at times present false information in the Assembly- as has been the case many times before. I want to make it clear that the data furnished in the petition are conclusive and there is no scope for doubts here,” Deb said speaking to reporters today.

It may be mentioned here that teplying on behalf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the-then Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty had assured the House in 2010 that construction of barrages on the upper catchment of Mahanadi won’t affect the flow of water into the state. The petition submitted by the State Government yesterday, on the other hand, argued otherwise.

BJD Chief Whip Ananta Das tried to make amends.

“False information is never provided in the House. Replies are made based on the data available in government documents. However, typographical or clerical mistakes do creep in once in a while. In many other cases, the departments fail to provide up to date information due to lack of data,” said Das.

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