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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 31:

Veteran Odisha BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra today criticized Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for his inconsistent remarks on Mahanadi issue and termed the formation of Negotiation Committee a gimmick.

“I don’t want to comment on him as he has been giving varied comments. First setting up of a Joint Control Board, then said Chhattisgarh is at fault… He has made different comments on different occasions. Formation of Negotiation Committee is a gimmick. The Union government should order for setting up of Tribunal from its side. Let the court decide on it. Everybody is doing politics over it. The state government has taken legal recourse. But, if it doesn’t follow it up then the consequences would be fiercer. The state government should show its urgency in this regard,” veteran BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said.

However, the BJP has distanced itself from Mohapatra’s comment saying the leader has given statement in his ‘personal capacity’ and it is not the party’s view.

“Before going to the media, he should have discussed it with Dharmendra Pradhan and party members. What he is saying is his personal view,” BJP leader Golak Mohapatra said.

On the other hand, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said that it is working in the best of the interest of the people.

“The state government is taking appropriate steps by examing legal aspects. It is taking all steps in the interest of the people,” BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said.

The Congress, however, supported the veteran saffron leader who appears to have been sidelined from the party affairs.

“What Bijoy Mohapata has said is true. If Dharmendra Pradhan will not give priority to this over Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uma Bharati then Odisha would be at loss. He should give statements in the interests of the state,” senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati expressed.