The unusual scene of ruling BJD member stalling the Assembly right from the question hour took place on Wednesday forcing the Speaker Pradip Amat to adjourn the entire prelunch session.
Raising slogans against the BJP and the Central government, ruling BJD mla’s stood and disrupted proceedings even as the Speaker had asked the Food Minister to reply to a question.
Within seconds, the Speaker adjourned the house till 3 pm as the noisy protests continued unabated. After stalling the assembly proceedings, the ruling BJD Ministers and MLA’s staged a protest near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Assembly premises alleging that the centre and Chhattisgarh government had colluded to deprive Odisha of Mahanadi waters.
They charged that the centre was deliberately delaying the functioning of the water dispute tribunal which it had been forced to constitute on orders of the apex court. Since they had to obey the court order, they have resorted to other tactics like not issuing the terms of reference and convening a meeting of all Mahanadi river basin states etc, charged the BJD leaders.
Already, this summer, the water flow to Mahanadi has drastically reduced as Chhattisgarh government unilaterally stored water in Kalma barrage and closed the gates. Farmers of Odisha have felt the shortage during the rabi crop cultivation and power generation from Hirakud has also dipped, said the BJD.
The BJD threatened to intensify the struggle in the larger interest of the state. Fifteen districts are affected by the disruption in flow of Mahanadi waters.
Odisha government has all along been demanding that for a Tribunal pending which Chhattisgarh government should halt construction of barrages upstream of the river.
A few BJD leaders alleged that the BJP led central government had destroyed the federal structure and is only interested in electoral politics. They cited the instance of the Cavery board not being formed and said because there is election in Karnataka, the centre is sitting over the matter.
Similarly, it is not issuing terms of reference for the Tribunal on Mahanadi only to allow Chhattisgarh government to complete all its ongoing projects upstream of Mahanadi, BJD charged.