SUKHASODA (JHARSUGUDA)/CHIKHILI (BARGARH):Chief Minister launched BJD’s Mahanadi Surakhya Abhijan here with an appeal to Odia pride and glory in the fight for saving river Mahanadi. He also put the BJP in the dock for the crisis faced by people depending on Mahanadi with a blistering attack on the BJP governments at the Centre and Chhattisgarh.
Addressing an impressive gathering before flagging off the Abhijan, Naveen accused the Odisha BJP leaders of supporting Chhattisgarh and failing to rise to the occasion despite the interest of the State being at stake. “If the BJP leaders have sympathy for people of the State, they should oppose the construction of barrages by the Chhattisgarh Government. They are only visiting the affected areas and shedding crocodile tears,” he said.
Terming Mahanadi as the lifeline of Odisha, Naveen said his Government had moved the Supreme Court following which the tribunal was constituted. Now, they are sitting over terms and references of the tribunal which is affecting river Mahanadi as well as water level of Hirakud Dam. With the Mahanadi drying up, rabi crop in many areas has been affected and fisherman have been deprived of their livelihood. “We will not let Mahanadi go dry and BJD will lead the people in the fight to save the river for generation next,” he said.
Earlier, after landing at Jharsuguda Aiport, Naveen took a chopper to Sukhasoda and on his arrival at around 10.30 am drove straight to the entry point of Mahanadi accompanied by WODC Chairman Kishor Mohanty and OLIC Chairman Anup Kumar Sai and saw for himself the ground realities. He also interacted with farmers and fishermen present at the spot before coming to the meeting venue.
At Chikili, Naveen said Odia pride and culture is incomplete without Mahanadi. He waved a party flag to kick off the motorcycle rally by Biju Yuva Janata Dal which will lead the campaign. The rally would cover over 1500 km through 45 Assembly constituencies in 15 districts of the Mahanadi basin and culminate at Paradip on May 30.
During the campaign, the regional party would organise street meetings, workshops, awareness meetings; distribute leaflets and other literary materials and play audio-visual on Mahanadi in every gram panchayat, block and sub-division and district headquarters. BJD MPs, MLAs and panchayat representatives have been asked to spend night in villages through which the campaign will pass.
Among others, Sanjay Dasburma, Sushanta Singh, BJD Rajya Sabha members Prasanna Acharya and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Ministers Prafulla Mallick, Niranjan Pujari, Snehangini Chhuria, Sushant Singh besides a host of leaders addressed the meeting.