Raj Thackeray says that Sharad Pawar is only shedding crocodile tears over the drought situation by organising Jail Bharo Andolan in the state.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray criticised Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar for his inability to resolve the drought situation during his reign as the Agriculture Minister. Raj said that Pawar is only shedding crocodile tears over the drought situation by organising Jail Bharo Andolan in the state. He added that Pawar is only trying to remain in the limelight by going ahead with the agitation. According to him, such type of cheap gimmicks won’t solve the drought problem.
Raj said that how can a party like NCP go ahead with agitation when its ministers like Sunil Tatkare and Ajit Pawar themselves are being involved in the Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam. He also had a meeting with farmers in Nashik to know about the problems faced by them. The Marathwada region of the state is experiencing one of the worst drought crises. According to reports, only seven per cent of usable water remains in all the 814 water reservoirs across eight districts of Marathwada region, leaving 870 villages and 454 hamlets parched.
Raj said that the erstwhile government wanted the state to remain under drought for a long period of time so that they can cash in on this crisis and derive political mileage out of it.
Coming down heavily on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Raj Thackeray said, “The NCP has no moral right to talk on drought. Sharad Pawar had held the chief ministerial post thrice, and had served as the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha. Pawar also had served as agricultural minister for 10 years but he has failed to solve the drought problem of the state. Raj also said that there is no difference between BJP and NCP as both make tall promises but fail to fulfil them.”
Maharashtra Revenue Minister, Eknath Khadse said, “The NCP leaders have to go to jail either today or tomorrow. So organising such type of agitation won’t solve the problem.”
Even though the Congress-NCP had ruled Maharashtra for 15 years but it had not taken any steps to provide relief to the drought hit farmers in the state. The NCP leaders had committed irregularities to the tune of 70,000 crore in execution of various irrigation projects as the land under irrigation has gone by just 0.1 per cent in the state.
Talking about NCP’s ‘jail bharo’ agitation, Raj alleged that Mr Pawar was playing politics on the drought issue when he himself was responsible for this situation in the state.
NCP leader, Sunil Tatkare said, “We are going ahead with the Jail Bharo Aandolan in every district, which is facing problems due to the drought condition, in order to draw the attention of the state government about the plight of farmers.”
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has issued summons to senior NCP leaders and former ministers Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare in connection with alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for irrigation projects which led to cost escalation.
Ajit and Tatkare are under scanner for allegedly awarding tenders to contractors by flouting norms which resulted in massive cost escalation for Kondhane, Kalu and Balganga irrigation projects in Konkan region during their stints as Water Resources ministers in the Congress-led Democratic Front government.
In 2009, when Ajit Pawar was state irrigation minister, he cleared 32 irrigation projects worth Rs 20,000 – Rs 25,000 crore without allegedly going through the procedures.