Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched a massive signature campaign in the State from here by becoming the first signatory to a memorandum that would be submitted to the President of India highlighting the injustices meted out to Odisha by the Centre on controversial projects constructed by the Chhattisgarh Government over river Mahanadi and by the Andhra Pradesh Government’s Polavaram irrigation project.
Addressing a massive gathering near his birthplace Anand Bhawan, Patnaik said the projects in Chhattisgarh would severely affect the flow of Mahanadi water to Odisha during the non-monsoon days, thereby spelling doom for the people residing in riverside areas.
“Starting from potable water, the entire livelihood of people of Odisha would be severely jeopardised,” Patnaik said, reiterating that he would continue this fight against Centre and the neighbouring State Governments for the interest of Odisha till the last breath of his life.
Indicating that the State Government would take legal course in getting justice for the people of Odisha, Patnaik rued over the indifferent attitude of the Centre towards the State despite repeated pleas. “We believe in the Federal spirit of the country, but that should not be construed as our weakness,” he said.
Soon after Patnaik signed on the memorandum, five accomplished farmers of the State followed suit. Some eminent citizens of the city drawn from several walks of life also put their signatures on it, following which Ministers and other BJD leaders sitting on the dais signed the memorandum. Party sources said the memorandum would contain at least one signature each from all the 87 lakh families of the State.