According to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, some 600 villages in Maharashtra don’t have electricity and thousands of villages don’t get clean drinking water. He says water conservation in drought-affected areas can help farmers tide over agrarian crisis, and he is out to help these people using the party’s platform. This will be the Sena’s unique way of celebrating the party’s golden jubilee this year.
Thackeray deserves heartiest compliments for working in the right direction, but the manner in which he is executing this plan speaks a lot about the differences between his party and the BJP, the major partner in the state government.
Water conservation became a priority agenda quite a while ago; even Congressman Prithviraj Chavan realised that irrigation projects did little to meet agrarian, industrial and drinking water needs. Chavan’s successor, Devendra Fadnavis reformed policy to make schemes more effective and widespread. He approved sufficient finance for the water conservation project which he now monitors personally on a daily basis.
So, it is quite baffling why the Sena leaders have started a parallel water conservation programme. Instead, they should have used their collective might to strengthen the government’s scheme. But all they have been doing is cribbing about how the BJP is maiming them instead of cooperating with them. Sadly, the parties are unmindful of the fact that such squabbles will not help them return to power after four years because they will not be able to deliver what they have promised.
What matters most to distressed citizens is development that makes their lives more comfortable, and not the party responsible for it. It is time that the BJP and Sena work together, at least in the matter of governance and welfare schemes. Especially because there are things that Thackeray has pointed out rightly lack of electricity and clean water aren’t signs of ‘achhe din’.