Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 6:
A day after holding a press conference to take on Biju Janata Dal led Odisha Government over the Mahanadi water dispute, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today made another swipe at it and said “administration is not wrestling”.
Pradhan was reacting to a statement made by BJD Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya who criticised him and the Union Government over his press conference yesterday and dared him to show bravado in New Delhi and get the construction by Chhattisgarh Government on the upper catchment of Mahanadi stopped.
“Administration is not wrestling. BJD probably prefers words such as bravado, ego, guts given its indulgence in goondaism. We do not belong to that culture. I had made one point very clear. Water is a state subject. The state needs to intervene and find a solution in case of a conflict. As I said yesterday, CWC is a toothless organisation that cannot enforce a decision on the states in case of a conflict. The government has to take the route of Joint Management Committee and approach the tribunal if that doesn’t work,” said Pradhan.
“I would like the BJD to answer why the Chief Secretary was not empowered to take a call on the Joint Management Committee in the June 29 meeting. I would like them to answer why the Odisha Government is backing down. Are they going to stop construction by using force? They are trying to mislead people. The Chief Minister should not run away from his administrative responsibilities,” he added.
“Odisha has sent Prasanna Acharya to Rajya Sabha to defend its interests. When Rajya Sabha was debating key issues such as Mahanadi water dispute and GST etc, Acharya was missing in the House. He is playing college politics here,” chided Pradhan.
Taking matters little further, he launched a personal attack and added, “We are all afraid of what he and his family did in Bargarh. I am afraid of him. We lack courage to do anything of that sort”.
Acharya, on the other hand, tried to play down the incident.
“The entire state knows my family. I don’t need a character certificate from him. Besides, if he thinks I am still energetic like a college going young man, I am going to take it as a compliment and thank him,” said Acharya.