Mumbai: The NCP on Tuesday accused the BJP-led Maharashtra government of neglecting drought in rural areas to trigger exodus of villagers elsewhere to ensure there was no voting against the ruling party in the Lok Sabha polls. NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik targeted the BJP also for saying that the opposition party was raising the drought issue as part of its preparation for Assembly polls to be held later this year.
Malik said his party was engaged in relief work for drought-affected people and asked the BJP if it was not “ashamed” to cast aspersion on it. He said that the BJP-led state government “woke up” to the issue only after NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders started visiting parched regions of the state.
“The government neglected the drought situation in the state so that people left villages, thereby, ensuring there was no voting against the ruling party,” Malik alleged. Malik alleged the state government did not announce drought in the state although such a situation was anticipated eight months prior.
“The drought was announced only after we protested,” Malik claimed. He reiterated that the Devendra Fadnavis government wrote to the Election Commission seeking relaxation of model code of conduct for drought-relief work only after Pawar’s visits to these regions.
Accusing the government of not being serious on the issue, Malik said people in affected pockets are bereft of drinking water and fodder for cattle. Malik also picked holes in the government’s Jalyukt Shivar Yojana, a water conservation programme, alleging it was meant to “nurture” BJP workers and that it did not help the state.