Bhubaneswar:The allegation, if the Center has ever said ‘no’ to Odisha’s bid for Mahandi tribunal, is “false.” said Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday in Bhubaneswar. He said, “The Center has never refused to form the tribunal in its affidavit in the Supreme Court.” There are some who misinterpreted the move, added the Minister is due to ignorance.
The Minister rather stood for the single tribunal system that the Center is going to bring in soon. He claimed that the new tribunal mechanism could resolve the interstate water disputes in three years.
He, however, advocated resolving the matter amicably and asked to refrain from making that like an “Indo-Pak issue”
”Odisha and Chhattisgarh are not like India and Pakistan. The matter can be resolved amicably,” said Pradhan who at present is setting the course of BJP in Odisha.
But, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra has challanged to differ. He holds tribunal is the only way out of the issue and slammed the Central government with charges that it was avoiding the tribunal mean in connivance with Chhatisgarh.
He said Center’s offer to reject the demand for Mahanadi tribunal is against the interest of Odisha.
Last week the Center through an affidavit in the Supreme Court had ruled out the formation of a tribunal for sorting out the water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhatisgarh over River Mahandi. The Center in the Affidavit has cited Odisha’s inadequate support with data for the tribunal as the reason.
This move of the Center on the ongoing dispute between Odisha and Chhatisgarh had provoked strong reaction among the parties who wanted to go with the tribunal route on the issue.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik raised question on the Center’s neutrality on the matter as his government submitted a counter affidavit in the Apex Court on Friday.
Up in arm against the Center BJD leaders alleged that the BJP government in the Center is supporting its Chhatisgarh dispension with an eye on political harvest in the state election there in August next year.