BJD leader Pandian criticizes Centre’s role in Mahanadi dispute

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), May 20: In response to the BJP’s criticism of the BJD government in Odisha, V K Pandian, Chairman of the 5T initiative, rebuked the Centre for supporting the Chhattisgarh government in the Mahanadi water sharing dispute.

Pandian highlighted how the Centre collaborated with Chhattisgarh against Odisha’s interests in the Supreme Court, obstructing the formation of the Mahanadi tribunal. He emphasized Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s efforts, which led to a favorable court order, preventing Chhattisgarh from constructing barrages over the Mahanadi. Pandian indirectly referenced Dharmendra Pradhan, contesting from Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, via an Instagram video message.

Asserting that the Mahanadi is Odisha’s lifeline, Pandian criticized politicization of the issue. The BJD has consistently questioned the Union Minister’s approach and blamed him for hindering the Mahanadi tribunal’s success. Conversely, the saffron party has portrayed Pandian as emblematic of corruption and mismanagement under BJD rule.

In a separate video message, Pandian lauded the BJD government’s initiatives to empower the middle class, describing them as the state’s growth engine. He highlighted four provisions in the BJD manifesto for 2024 aimed at benefiting the middle class. These include widespread issuance of BSKY Cards, interest subvention on home loans up to Rs 20 lakh, the Nua-O scholarship providing interest subvention on educational loans for children, and concessional rates for public transport.

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