The Telegraph
Thursday , October 13 , 2016

Cong team to meet Pranab

We will bring it to the notice of the President that if Chhattisgarh is allowed to construct dams in the 
Mahanadi upstream, Odisha will be badly hit
Congress leader 

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12: A state Congress delegation led by Narasingha Mishra will leave for Delhi tomorrow to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and apprise him about the latest developments on the ongoing Mahanadi water dispute.

Mishra's decision has, however, created a flutter in the party as the team doesn't include other senior leaders from the Congress.

The visit reflects the growing rift between Mishra and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan. The uneasy relation between the two had come to the fore when Harichandan and other senior leaders had stayed away from the all-party convention called on the issue by Mishra on August 3. The state chief had said that the central party had not "endorsed" the meeting. Mishra, however, had stated that he had obtained clearance for the meeting from the party high command.

Harichandan had said that the party would take up the Mahanadi issue with the people on its own. Some of the leaders supporting Harichandan had said that the Congress should not sit with the BJD and the BJP on the Mahanadi issue as both the parties were responsible for the mess. The party had observed an all Odisha strike on August 16 giving signal that it would organise a few more events on the water issue.

Mishra today told The Telegraph: "We will bring it to the notice of the President that if Chhattisgarh is allowed to construct dams in the Mahanadi upstream, Odisha will be badly hit. Even it will endanger the existence of the river." However, the date and time of the meeting has not been finalised so far.

In a related development, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra today questioned the sincerity of the state government over handling the Mahanadi issue.

He said: "Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who is at present in New Delhi, should have raised the Mahanadi issue with the prime minister. He could have solved the dispute. He should be apprised about the state's concern. Only writing letters won't solve the problem."

Mohapatra said: "No one is serious to resolve the water dispute. The government had declared that it would seek legal option, but is yet to announce its course of action."

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