Odisha Assembly Stalled Over Mahanadi Water Dispute


Bhubaneswar: Opposition BJP and Congress created pandemonium in the Assembly demanding a special motion to discuss Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.

The Odisha Assembly was adjourned till 4 pm on Thursday amid ruckus.

BJD leaders had on multiple occasions alleged that the construction of check dams on the upper catchment area by the previous BJP government in Chhattisgarh have caused problems for Odisha, “as the neighbouring state releases excess water during monsoons, leading to floods, and stops water flow in the summers, resulting in hardship for people”.

The issue was raised in the Assembly as soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour.

Congress MLAs initially trooped into the Well of the Assembly while the BJP legislators later joined in pitching for a discussion relating to the Mahanadi water row through a special motion by suspending the Question Hour.

Though Speaker B K Arukha urged the agitating members to return to their seats, it went unheeded.

The Speaker also said that a discussion through a special motion could not be conducted in the House unless the Appropriation Bill was passed.

“You are all senior members and should consider that the House cannot take up any discussion through special motion when the Appropriation Bill is pending for its passage. It may be considered after passage of the Appropriation Bill,” the Speaker said while urging the opposition members to return to their seats.

As there was no impact, the Speaker adjourned the proceeding till 4 pm. The House could not transact any business and it functioned for six minutes only in the pre-lunch session.

Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra told reporters outside the House, “MLAs of the ruling party had Wednesday raised the Mahanadi water row issue. We demand a discussion on the matter through a special motion. Therefore, our members made such a demand, but the government did not agree to the special discussion.”

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