BHUBANESHWAR: Toughening his stand on the Mahanadi issue, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today rejected the Centre's proposal for constitution of an expert committee to examine if rules were flouted by Chhattisgarh government during constructing projects on the upstream of the river.
The Chief Minister made it clear once again to the Centre that his government will explore all administrative and legal avenues to protect the rights of the State and nothing less than stoppage of all construction activities by the neighbouring state is acceptable at the moment.
"I have heard the voice of Odisha through this august house, We reject the proposal as it does not stop the construction activities by the Chhattisgarh government," Patnaik said in his reply to the motion on Mahanadi water disputes.
There was a resounding "no" from the treasury benches when the Chief Minister asked, "Does this House think Odisha should send a representative to this Expert Committee?,"
The Chief Minister said the two-day debate on this issue made it amply clear that the improper decision of Central Water Commission (CWC) will not safeguard the interests of Odisha, one of the co-basis states of river Mahanadi.
The debate clearly highlighted the threat the livelihood of millions of farmers and fishermen of the state and the serious threat to the environmentally sensitive hot spots housed in the Mahanadi basin, he added.
"I assure the House and the people of Odisha that my government will leave no stone unturned to protect the interest of state. We are taking action on administrative and legal fronts to protect out rights and ensure justice to our people," the Chief Minister said.
The Opposition Congress and the BJP staged a walk out protesting that the Chief Minister did not give any solution to the problem.
Dubbing the Chief Minister's reply as "unfortunate and deplorable", Leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra said he condemn it.
"Patnaik did not behave like the Chief Minister of the state or leader of the House. He indulged in nasty politics. He did not spell out how to protect the interest of the state," Mishra remarked.
Mishra wondered why the state government moved a motion when the Chief Minister is not willing to discuss or say anything specific about his government's future action plan to save Mahanadi.
Since the Chief Minister did not reply to any of the queries or allegations made against his government by the opposition, it proved that all allegations are true as he has no answer to them, he said.
The Chief Minister has once again displayed his dictatorial attitude by rejecting the unanimous view of the House for a joint fight to protect the interest of the state, he remarked.