Delhi: On a day when Supreme Court said that if state governments maintain an 'ostrich-like attitude' towards disasters like drought then the Centre cannot wash off its hands from the constitutional responsibility, a BJP MP offered this as a suggestion to tackle the problem - 'Organise yagyas for rains'.
The suggestion was given by BJP member Virendra Singh on Wednesday to fellow Parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha as a means to mitigate the drought situation.
Participating in the debate on drought, water crisis and issues connected with inter-linking of rivers, Singh recalled the mythological story of Raja Janak ploughing the fields and organising yagya to please the rain Gods.
"Raja Janak's rajdharma resulted in rains. Similarly, Modi ji is trying to revive over seven lakh ponds to mitigate the problem of drought in the country," Singh said.
"There are spiritual as well as scientific reasons for yagya. It helps in attracting clouds," he argued.
Asking all MPs to organise yagyas in their constituencies for rains, he said, "It will result in rains."
According to him, droughts occur because people destroy nature in the name of development.
He also wanted the government and the state administration to appeal to the rich people to spend money for digging wells and ponds which could provide water in times of drought.
Meanwhile, the apex court today said that the buck stopped with the Centre in matters concerning common people.
"It (Centre) cannot totally wash its hands off on issues pertaining to Article 21 of the Constitution but at the same time, we do not suggest that the authority of the state government to declare a drought or any other similar power is diluted," a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and NV Ramana said, as per PTI.
"The Union of India has certainly to maintain a delicate and fine balance between federalism and its constitutional responsibility, and that it must do otherwise it is ultimately the common person who will suffer and be in distress because of a situation not of his or her making," the apex court said while passing a slew of directions on the issue of tackling a drought like situation.
The bench said that if Centre and state governments fails to respond to a developing crisis or a crisis in the making then the judiciary "can and must" consider issuing appropriate directions but "a Lakshman rekha" must be drawn.
"Surely, if a state government maintains an ostrich-like attitude, a disaster requires a far more proactive and nuanced response from the Union of India," the apex court said in its 53-page judgement while citing Bal Gangadhar Tilak's quote, "The problem is not lack of resources or capability, but the lack of will."
The bench noted that "lack of will" was amply demonstrated in this matter in which states of Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana were "hesitant to even acknowledge, let alone address, a possible drought-like situation or a drought by not disclosing full facts about the prevailing conditions in these states."
On the other hand, virtually rejecting Opposition demand for debt waiver to farmers, the government today said that Centre was continuously monitoring the drought situation and urged all parties to work together to deal with the problem.
Replying to a short duration discussion in the Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that the Modi government had done a lot for the farmers in two years and this work cannot be compared with the previous government's work in 60 years.
On Opposition's demand of debt waiver to farmers, he said that one of the members from Maharashtra had stated that such a scheme launched earlier have many faults.
To buttress his point, he cited a CAG report to say that Rs 271.49 crore were recovered from people who were not eligible for a debt-waiver scheme, which was to the tune of about Rs 72,000 crore.
(With PTI inputs)