BHUBANESWAR: With the focus now on the stand that Odisha Government will take at the tripartite meeting on Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday vowed to fight for the rights of people of the State.
Besides Naveen, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti will attend the meeting along with senior officials from both the States and Water Resources Ministry at New Delhi on Saturday.
The CM was given a ceremonial send off at the airport by the ruling BJD Ministers, MPs, MLAs and thousands of party workers. "I assure each one of you that I will put my in best efforts and leave no stone unturned in the fight for the people of our State," Naveen said.
"I am going with a lot of hope that the Centre will listen to the voice of Odisha and do justice to the people of our State on the sensitive Mahanadi issue," he said adding, his Government had already lodged protest against the construction activities of Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river.
The CM carried on consultation process with more than 150 organisations and political parties for three days ahead of the tripartite meeting. However, major political parties, Congress and BJP, were not part of the exercise.
Naveen thanked those who came forward with valuable suggestions in the larger interest of the State. The CM met representatives of 28 organisations on the day and discussed the water sharing dispute with them.
On the day, Chief Secretary AP Padhi presided over a high level preparatory meeting at the State Secretariat. In its bid to resolve the dispute between the two States, the Centre had convened a joint meeting in New Delhi on July 29, which was attended by Chief Secretaries of both Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Though the Centre had suggested that a joint control board (JCB) should be constituted, Odisha was not in favour of the proposal. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the State Government should write to the Centre to set up a tribunal as a last resort if Saturday's meeting failed.