‘We began scheme, NCP started scam’: Shiv Sena
“The current government has implemented Jalyukt Shivar (the water conservation scheme), but the biggest scam was in the irrigation department of the previous government,” an editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamana, said.Updated: May 08, 2019, 03:52 IST
The current government began a water conservation scheme to help drought-prone areas; the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) started an irrigation scam, the Shiv Sena said on Tuesday, hitting back at NCP chief Sharad Pawar for criticising the government’s efforts to tackle drought across the state.
Pawar had said the state woke up to tackle the worst drought to hit Vidarbha, Marathwada and parts of western Maharashtra in years, only after he toured affected areas. In response, Sena published an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamana, saying Pawar did not come up with a solution for drought even though he had been CM and Union agriculture minister.
“The opposition says the government does not understand the gravity of the situation; these are political allegations. Sharad Pawar has good knowledge about farming, water and drought. For years, he held the reigns at the Centre and in Maharashtra. What projects did he implement for a permanent solution to solve the issue?,” the editorial said.
“The current government has implemented Jalyukt Shivar (the water conservation scheme), but the biggest scam was in the irrigation department of the previous government,” it said.
The editorial repeated an appeal by state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil. “Chandrakant Patil said Pawar was politicising the issue. If drought tours are being undertaken as preparation for the Assembly polls, it is wrong,” it said. Instead of politicising the issue, the opposition should work with the government to provide relief, Sena said.
Drought was declared in more than half the villages across 151 tehsils and 318 revenue circles of Maharashtra between October and November 2018. With the onset of summer, the situation is only growing worse. On Sunday, the Election Commission relaxed the model code of conduct in Maharashtra so the state could begin relief work.
After his tour, Pawar said the government was not serious about dealing with drought. He demanded that farmers be given financial assistance, their loans be waived, and the limit on the number of animals a farmer can place in a cattle camp should be removed. He also said the state must waive the school fees of farmers’ children.