Why hasn’t Modi visited drought-hit Maharashtra areas, asks Shiv Sena

NEW DELHI: As the Parliament resumed business on Monday, the National Democratic Alliance government’s (NDA) biggest ally Shiv Sena questioned why prime minister Narendra Modi hasn’t visited the drought-hit regions in Maharashtra yet, even as he is campaigning across the country for the ongoing Assembly elections.

Image Facebook Page 

The party criticism comes just a day after its chief Uddhav Thackeray said that slapping a sedition case on student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and branding him an anti-national was wrong. Sena has 18 members of parliament in Lok Sabha and three in Rajya Sabha.

Image Facebook Page 

Senior sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut told dna, “We are requesting the prime minister to visit because unless he does that, he won’t understand the intensity of the situation. Whether the state government has been effective in tackling the drought can be seen later. First, it is necessary to get some aid from the Centre.”

He added, “In the drought-hit regions, villagers are jobless and they are migrating out of desperation. The PM will realise the ground reality if he visits these villages.” He also said his party’s MPs will raise the issue of drought in Lok Sabha during the second leg of Budget session, which began on Monday. “We will put forth the issue on the floor of the House. We may also discuss this during the next meeting of NDA parties.”
At present, Maharashtra is facing the third consecutive drought this summer and it has hit the Marathwada region the hardest. Marathwada’s Latur, Beed, Osmanabad and Parbhani districts are facing an acute shortage of drinking water, prompting the Indian Railways to dispatch a goods train filled with five lakh litres of water to Latur.

Raut’s comments echo the Monday editorial in Saamna, the party mouth-piece. The editorial said that “while it is good that the prime minister is travelling around the globe, he could have also spared a couple of days to visit Marathwada and other regions of the country that are reeling under drought”. It also went on to add that while Marathwada was facing an acute water crisis, the PM was campaigning in Kerala, Assam and West Bengal in full swing.