Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 21:

Days after Union Government constituted a negotiation committee to assess availability and utilisation of water in Mahanadi and its tributaries, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra today criticized the attempt and said that the panel will fail to solve the Mahanadi water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Bijoy Mohapatra

Speaking to reporters, Mohapatra — a former water resources minister of Odisha Government – also took potshots at the Union Government run by his party and alleged that the Center is not being just in defending the interests of the state.

“There was no necessity to form a negotiation committee. There is no way a decision made by this committee will solve the Mahanadi water sharing dispute. There is no reason why anyone will abide by its decision,” said Mohapatra pointing to the lack of powers of such a committee.

“The way it is being taken forward, it will only complicate the issue further. Formation of a tribunal would have addressed the issue. Beyond what Odisha would have gotten from the tribunal, the fact remains that everyone would have abided by its verdict. I believe trying other methods other than a tribunal is against the interest of the state,” he added.

In another statement, Mohapatra – who has been vocal about the campaigning strategy of his party for the panchayat polls and has expressed his interest to stay away from the campaign over the star campaigner issue – today spilled the beans pertaining to dissent in his party and said that he had not been taken into confidence before the visit of party president Amit Shah yesterday.