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Raising question on Odisha government's 'silence' over the construction of projects on upstream of river Mahanadi, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit today expressed doubt if the deal existed between Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh.
"I have reasons to doubt the deal between Raman Singh and Naveen Patnaik as the Odisha government did not oppose constructions of projects on upstream of Mahanadi. This is despite the fact that the Odisha government was well aware about the construction activities carried out by the Chhattisgarh counterpart," Purohit, a BJP MLA from Padmapur, said while participating in a special discussion on Mahanadi issue in assembly.
Claiming that the Odisha government was aware of the construction activities, Purohit said that Patnaik, also in-charge of the water resources department, had replied to several questions on Mahanadi issue earlier in the Assembly.
Patnaik began opposing the projects now after Chhattisgarh completed about 80 per cent of works, Purohit pointed out.
"The Chief Minister had spoken on Mahanadi issue in 2001, 2003, 2010 and also in 2016. In March this year, Patnaik replied to questions of BJP MLA Radharani Panda and BJD MLA Raseswari Panigrahi on Mahanadi issue," Purohit said.
Purohit said he wondered why Patnaik did not oppose the construction in Chhattisgarh side all along.
"Patnaik has not written any letter to Prime Minister, central government or even to the central water commission. His silence raises doubt that Patnaik had a deal with Raman Singh not to oppose the project," the BJP MLA said.
Noting that the state unit of BJP was with the people of Odisha who would be the ultimate sufferer if water flow came down in river Mahanadi, Purohit said the industries which funded Rs 5,000 crore to Chhattisgarh government for construction of barrages, also operate in Odisha.
Therefore, Patnaik might not have opposed the projects keeping in view the interest of the industries, he alleged.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)