Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik on Wednesday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apologise for the illegal and arbitrary actions of the Chhattisgarh government in blocking the free flow of Mahanadi waters.
“People of Odisha will keenly listen to the speech of Modi in the public meeting at Cuttack and expect him to admit that Chhattisgarh was wrong in unilaterally constructing dams and barrages without the consent of the Government of Odisha,” said Patnaik.
“The Prime Minister should call a spade a spade and categorically sanction Chhattisgarh for wrongdoing. Let the Prime Minister not play partisan politics,” he urged.
“Mahanadi is an inter-state river. No constructions can be made on the river without mutual consent and yet Chhattisgarh has sold the water to private companies,” said the PCC president.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Modi has visited Odisha several times.
“Taking the name of Lord Jagannath or a visit to Lingaraj Temple or praise for Odisha’s freedom fighters is all very good. But, sweet words should be backed by concrete action on the ground. Today, people will judge him by only one issue and that is his stand on the illegal activities of the BJP Government in Chhattisgarh. Does he support the actions of Chhattisgarh or does he support people of Odisha?” he asked.
He said let Modi announce at Cuttack a stoppage to all constructions till the arbitration process is completed.
Let him order the immediate release of water that has been illegally stopped by Chhattisgarh, he added.
The BJD Government in the state has failed to protect Odisha’s interest and has not been able to either complete projects started by the previous Congress Government or take up new projects, said Patnaik.
But, it is the job of the Prime Minister of the country to behave like a statesman and not punish the people of Odisha for the inefficiency of the BJD Government, said the Congress leader.
“Development must be above party politics. The Prime Minister should announce a special package of one lakh crore in three years for construction of irrigation projects in Odisha. Our farmers are suffering much and the only way their lots can be improved is by improving utilization of our water resources,” said the PCC president.