BHUBANESWAR: After the bonhomie between BJD and BJP leaders on Friday during the visit of NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, the two parties again turned bitter rivals with the regional party deciding to raise the demands for special category state status for Odisha and Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh during the monsoon session of the Parliament which commences from Monday.
A decision to this effect was taken at the BJD’s Parliamentary Party meeting presided by its president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Saturday.
The Chief Minister, however, asked the MPs to consult him before giving their opinion on national and international issues. Naveen’s advice to the MPs came after some of the MPs questioned decisions taken by him on some issues, including his support to the NDA Presidential candidate.Naveen, sources said, asked MPs to put pressure on the Central Government for setting up a tribunal for settlement of Mahanadi water dispute with neighbouring Chhattisgarh. Since the negotiation committee has failed to solve the matter, the BJD Government would demand immediate formation of tribunal, spokesperson of the BJD parliamentary party Kalikesh Singhdeo said.
The BJD MPs will also ask the Centre to raise the minimum support price on paddy to `2,930 per quintal against the existing price of `1,559 per quintal.Another key demand to be raised by the BJD will be to authorise the coal bearing states to impose Green Tax, BJD Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Deb said and added that the MPs will also demand deployment of more central paramilitary forces in Maoist-affected areas of Odisha. Besides, provision of CSR funds by central public sector undertakings for setting up medical colleges in the State will also be raised, he said.The meeting held at Naveen Niwas was attended by 21 of the BJD’s 28 MPs in both the Houses of the Parliament.