Cuttack: In what sounded like a warm-up speech for the 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a scathing attack on Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Odisha, saying the State government is responsible for the ongoing Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.
The PM also said the Odisha governmnet is misleading people on Mahanadi issue despite the Centre’s assistance to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
“The Odisha government has already admitted and accepted in the State Assembly that more than 50% of Mahanadi water drains into sea,” Modi said while addressing a rally at Bali Jatra Ground in Odisha’s Cuttack city on the occasion of four years of completion of his government.
“Due to the Mahanadi water dispute, farmers of Odisha are suffering. We are committed to resolve their problems and address the challenges they have to face,” said Modi as the crowd burst into a loud round of applause.
Taking on ruling BJD, Modi said, “There is a lack of proper health facilities in several places and the situation is worse here in Odisha. I wonder what the state government has been doing all this while.”
Coming down heavily on the State government, the PM said that the people of Odisha want to know why the Lower Indravati irrigation project, which started 20 years ago, was delayed for so long.
Holding the Naveen Patnaik government responsible for farmers’ plight, Modi said his government is relentlessly working for the development of farmers across India but the Odisha government has failed in its part to do the same.
Meanwhile, both BJD and Congress rejected Modi’s claim saying the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has done nothing for the development of people in Odisha.
“The PM didn’t say anything against Chhattisgarh for building of dams and barrages on Mahanadi which adversely affect interests of Odisha farmers. As he (Modi) said ‘Janta sab janti hai’ (People know everything) during his speech, so people will decide at the right time,” said BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Deb.
Congress said Modi once again diasspointed people of Odisha. “Modi ji once again disappoints people of Odisha, pays lip service on the issue of Mahanadi and takes side of Chhattisgarh. In the end, he gave no assurance to people of Odisha,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress President Niranjan Patnaik.
“PM Modi falsely claimed that Central Govt wanted a tribunal for Mahanadi issue. The fact is that the tribunal was constituted as per directions of Supreme Court. Like always, Modi ji tried to seek credit for something in which he had no role to play,” Patnaik tweeted.
PM Modi falsely claimed that Central Govt wanted a tribunal for Mahanadi issue. Th fact is that the tribunal was constituted as per directions of Supreme Court.
Like always, Modi ji tried to seek credit for something in which he had no role to play.
— Niranjan Patnaik (@NPatnaikOdisha) May 26, 2018