Mumbai: The ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena on Thursday expressed alarm over the drought situation in Maharashtra and said mere chanting of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" will not resolve the water crisis in the state.
Drawing the government's attention to the critical situation in the thirsty and parched regions of the state, the Shiv Sena said the drought could create a potential law and order situation and must be tackled on top priority.
"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has declared that he would not stop saying 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' even if he had to sacrifice his chair," the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"It would have been better had he said he would kick the chair if he failed to solve the state's water problems."
Dark predictions have been made that the third world war would be fought over water -- and the present condition in Maharashtra is a pointer to the plausibility of that prophecy, said the 'Saamana' editorial.
"Some youth have taken to Maoism to combat injustice... What if the youth now take to arms and terror just for a sip of water? Then the slogan of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' would be meaningless," it said.
There is no point now blaming the previous regime for failing to tackle the water crises, it said.
"Now, it is your government. You cannot keep the people thirsty and still expect them to get ignited by 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and other patriotic slogans," the Sena bluntly told the senior alliance partner, Bharatiya Janata Party.
Outlining the critical situation, the Sena said in many parts of Marathwada and north Maharashtra strict orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) banning assembly of five or more persons have been imposed, public water tanks are being guarded by the police 24x7, people keep their domestic water storage under lock ans key, and the water mafia is raising its ugly head.
In some areas like Aurangabad, water is supplied once in 40 days, there is no water for drinking, cooking, sanitation. Cattle are dying and farms look like 'smashaan' (crematorium ground), it said.
Worse, the situation is turning serious even in major cities like Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Mumbai.
"Industries are shutting down and unemployment is rife. Merely chanting slogans of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and playing politics in the name of patriotism will not quench peoples' thirst," the Sena warned.
The Sena urged Fadnavis to "remain seated in the chair, and ensure water for the people of Maharashtra."