Mumbai: Taking a swipe at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' remarks that those who cannot chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' must leave the country, ruling ally Shiv Sena on Thursday said people should be able to live first to chant the pro-India slogan, referring to the grim spectre of drought that looms over the state.
"It would have been better if he (Fadnavis) would have given a war cry that he would give drinking water in homes, in each village of Maharashtra or will leave the CM's post," said an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"One will have to chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', but to say that people need to be alive first," it quipped.
"At present, the politics over 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is in full force. Let my Chief Minister's chair go, but I will chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', is a good call by the CM. But the children of 'Bharat Mata' are roaming all over for water, are harried, incidents have gone to the extent of seeking each other's blood," it said.
Reminding that youth take to Naxalism and pick up arms against 'injustice', the Sena asked, "Will the youth of Marathwada for the sake of a sip of water take up arms and become terrorists?"
"If that happens, 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' will have no meaning. If the people are happy then Bharat Mata will be happy," it said.
The Shiv Sena said that the "Jai" (victory) of Bharat Mata is "Jai" of the people, but they do not have a sip of water, cattle are withering to death and fields are turning into burial grounds.
"Then if anyone stands in such fields and raises nationalist slogans, Bharat Mata will not be thrilled and rise up," it said.
"This is not the Maharashtra of the dreams of Bharat Mata. Chief Minister, sit on your chair and give water to Maharashtra," it exhorted.
However, the Sena remained silent over a case before the Bombay High Court, which had said that in view of the severe water crunch in Maharashtra due to drought it would be better to shift the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches outside the state.
The party also termed as "shocking" the deployment of police squads to protect water tanks and tankers at some places in the state.
In many regions of the state and Marathwada, people are becoming enemies of each other over water, it said.
"Many have foretold that the third world war will be fought over water. That seems coming to be true. The picture of riots breaking over water is disturbing," the Sena said.
Arguing that water policies of the previous rule may have gone wrong, the Sena said you cannot keep the people thirsty by blaming it on the past government.
For want of water, industries might shut down and danger of unemployment may rise, the editorial cautioned....