BJD plans month-long marketing campaign over Mahanadi river row

BHUBANESWAR: The ruling is expected to announce a month-long campaign on the Mahanadi water-sharing dispute between and . A large part of the campaign will involve targeting the NDA-led Centre for its alleged bias against Odisha.
Chief minister and BJD president is likely to announce the campaign at a symposium on the Mahanadi to be held on April 22.

Senior leaders of the party and technical experts met at the BJD headquarters to discuss strategies for the symposium which will be attended by elected representatives from the 15 districts that will be most affected by a dip in the water level of the Mahanadi.

BJD insiders said the party would make the river row a major political issue in the run-up to the 2019 assembly and Lok Sabha elections. It will organize demonstrations, street plays, talks and other activities to target the Centre.

“The BJP government has deliberately delayed the tribunal process by not sharing the terms of reference with the state government. Despite several requests by us, the Centre did not direct the Chhattisgarh government to stop construction over the Mahanadi. The Centre has been supporting the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh keeping in mind the election in that state later this year,” said BJD‘s Rajya Sabha member, Prasanna Acharya.

The BJP criticized the regional party for allegedly politicizing the Mahanadi problem and trying to force the tribunal‘s hand. “The Mahanadi row will not be resolved by BJD hitting the street. It should set its arguments before the tribunal. Instead of doing that, it is trying to pressurize the tribunal,” said BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya.

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