Taking a break from routine work during Dusshera vacation, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is in Delhi and has so far met at least five central ministers to discuss the Maoist menace in the state.
Mr. Patnaik, who left for Delhi on September 23, has met the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony, Forest and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Sports Minister M S Gill and Tribal Affairs minister K L Bhuria, sources in the Chief Minister’s Office said.
He has also met chairman of the 13th finance commission Vijay L Kelkar.
During his meeting with Mr. Chidambaram, he sought central help to effectively tackle the Maoists and asked for at least seven battalions (about 7,000 personnel) of central para-military force and a chopper for tackling Maoists.
“The chief minister discussed issues relating to recruitment of tribals from Orissa in defence forces while meeting Mr. Antony,” the sources said adding he also demanded establishment of two Branch Recruitment Offices in the tribal-dominated districts.
Mr. Patnaik raised the issue of coastal security with the defence minister as the state has a long coastline.
Mr. Patnaik highlighted sporting talent among the tribals and asked Mr. Gill to open more centres of Sports Authority of India (SAI) in tribal-dominated districts like Koraput, Malkangiri, Keonjhar, Sundergarh and Mayurbhanj.
The chief minister also informed Mr. Gill of the preparatory arrangement for hosting the 15th National Youth Festival here in January 2010.
“During his discussion with Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Mr. Patnaik demanded establishment of two major institutions like National Research Institute for Management of Wetland and Coastal Ecosystem and National Mangroves Research Institute in Orissa to deal with environment issues,” the sources said.
During his meeting with Mr. Bhuria, the chief minister asked him to grant Rs 140 crore for construction of 400 tribal girls hostels, the sources said.
Mr. Patnaik is scheduled to return here on Monday, the sources said.