BHUBANESWAR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s campaign for BJP candidates in the panchayat polls continued to evoke strong reaction from the BJD with the regional outfit asserting that it will have no impact on the voters.
“Chhattisgarh Chief Minister is trying to create confusion among the people on the Mahanadi river water issue and its negative impact for the State BJP will be proved in the panchayat polls,” BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera told mediapersons here on Saturday.
“People of Odisha want answers on growing unemployment, migration, hunger deaths, poor health facilities and others. Unable to reply to the people, Mahanadi water issue has been raised to divert attention,” Singh told a public rally in support of BJP candidates at Lathikata in Sundergarh district.
“We use only four per cent of the Mahanadi water while Odisha uses 14 per cent of water. Remaining 82 per cent drains down to sea. Instead of utilising the water going to waste, the Odisha Government has been raising voice,” Singh said.
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister said Hirakud reservoir could be filled four times if the Odisha Government tries to utilise the water going to sea. He reiterated that the misunderstanding can be solved if chief ministers of the two States discuss the issue.
The BJD, however, maintained that Chhattisgarh is constructing barrages on the upper catchment of Mahanadi river to provide water to industries at the cost of the farmers. Behera demanded that Chhattisgarh Government should stop all construction work and the dispute should be referred to a tribunal.
Raising questions over the popularity of Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Behera said BJP had won by one per cent votes against Congress in the 2013 assembly election.
Meanwhile, the BJP alleged that BJD trying to create unnecessary fear among the people to divert attention from the failure of the Odisha Government. Despite BJD winning by a massive mandate in four consecutive elections during the last 17 years, why people from Odisha still migrate to other states for work and there is no such problem in Chhattisgarh, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma asked.