Sunday, February 12, 2017

RAMAN DARES PROTESTS, VISITS ODISHA TO ‘CLEAR’ M’NADI STAND Friday, 10 February 2017 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR/ BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar 1 2

RAMAN DARES PROTESTS, VISITS ODISHA TO ‘CLEAR’ M’NADI STAND
Friday, 10 February 2017 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR/ BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Amid the protests from the ruling BJD and Opposition Congress and other non-BJP parties, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Thursday visited Odisha and said he came here to “clear the air” on the ongoing Mahanadi dispute between the two neighbouring States.
Singh was in Odisha to campaign for BJP candidates contesting the upcoming panchayat elections.
Addressing a public meeting at Burda in Loisingha block in Balangir, Singh said, “My visit is aimed at clearing the misunderstanding on Mahanadi river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. I am here to tell the truth as a fellow neighbour, not as a Chief Minister. It’s the duty of a neighbour to resolve a misunderstanding.”
He said the dispute can be resolved in a minute if the Chief Ministers of both the States “sit together”. He termed Odisha as Chhattisgarh’s elder brother.
Contrary to the claims of the Odisha Government that the water flow to Odisha has been receding and constructions of dams on the upper catchment areas would pose further adverse impact on the State’s interest, Singh claimed that 82 per cent of the Mahanadi water drains into the sea.
“We (Chhattisgarh) get only four per cent water while Odisha utilises 13 per cent. A mere 18 per cent of Mahanadi water is being utilised. The rest 82 per cent goes to the sea. The Odisha Government can create dams and barrages to reserve the water for its benefit,” Singh said.
He further asserted that the Mahanadi dispute would be resolved easily if the BJP comes to power in Odisha.
During his one-day tour, Singh addressed three public meetings in Balangir, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh and campaigned for the BJP candidates.
“In this election development would be a major topic and implementation of pro-poor policies and programmes of the Narendra Modi Government would be our catch line to convince voters,” said Singh.
In Raman Singh’s presence in Balangir, former Minister Murali Guru, an associate of BJD leader AU Singh Deo, joined the BJP.
However, Singh’s visit evoked strong protest by Congress, Samajwadi Party and Mahanadi Banchao Samiti, Balangir.

Congress members led by senior leader Narasingha Mishra staged a demonstration in front of Loisingha block sporting black badges. Members of Samajwadi Party led by Arun Mishra also staged a dharna in front of the Balangir Collectorate.

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