New Delhi: Shiv Sena member Sanjay Raut on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spend a day each in drought-hit Bundelkhand and Marathwada so that his government can take steps to solve the problems faced by the affected people.
He also asked how can one expect thirsty and hungry people to raise 'Bharat Mata ki jai' slogans.
"Our respected Prime Minister travels within the country and abroad. But I request him to go to Bundelkhand and Marathwada for a day each. I am sure he will go and after seeing the conditions of people he will take steps to alleviate the problems," Raut, whose party Shiv Sena is a NDA constituent, said in Rajya Sabha.
In a hard-hitting speech during a discussion on drought, he said people hit by drought, even though they have 'Bharat Mata' in their hearts, have empty stomachs and are thirsty. "I don't want to link it with religion, but to hunger. Those who are famished and have become paupers, how do you expect 'Bharat mata ki jai' (slogans) from them, we will have to think," Raut said.
Referring to the slogan of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' given by the Prime Minister, he said "first we have to create a drought free and poverty free India. When the country becomes drought free, it automatically will become Congress free."
"We believe that Pakistan is our greatest enemy," but hunger and poverty are even greater enemies, he said. "We have talks with Pakistan, they can be held. But the poor, who are leaving there homes, discussions should be held with them also," the Shiv Sena member added.
Referring to a statement by a bank official that farmers cannot live by farming alone and there is a need for them to have other sources of income, he said when even MGNREGA was not being implemented properly, such people were talking of additional income sources for the poor.
"(Vijay) Mallya escaped after taking away Rs 850 crore of State Bank and you can do nothing, but a farmer who owes a few thousands, you take action against him," Raut said, adding that people in Maharashtra were living in grave difficulty. "We talk of 'achche din' but the responsibility of providing water to people is also ours," he said.
Raut said the problem of drought was not of one state but of several states and added that over 200 districts were affected and many people cannot even get rice or pulses to eat.