The meat ban in Maharashtra has inflated into an unending debate. Taking it further, renowned journalist Rajdeep Sardesai wrote an open letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, denouncing his government for the move.
"First, a beef ban, now a ban on meat: Why confuse good governance with food governance?," Sardesai wrote in the letter which was published in the Hindustan Times.
He further bashed the government for 'imposition of the cultural agenda of the RSS, including any forcible attempt to dictate what can be cooked in the kitchen in the name of Bharatiya sanskriti.' The sudden transfer of Rakesh Maria while investigating the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case and the Maharashtra government's circular to arrest those using representations to incite people against the government, were also criticised by Sardesai.
However, the Maharashtra CM, in a curt reply, quashed all the accusations raised in the letter by calling it 'an agenda against his government'. Even twitterati has applauded Fadnavis for his reply where he has put the journalist to task over all the issues which he raised.
Fadnavis's efforts to counter drought should not be neglected
Sardesai attacked Fadnavis, blaming him and his government for a range of issues. However, he failed to mention the sincerity with which the present CM has been handling the effects of drought which has affected 24,000 villages in the state.
In this regard, the flagship programme of the government - Jalyukta Shivar Yojna-- has been widely appreciated. The programme was specially mentioned by Rajendra Singh, who is called 'the water man' of India, during the Stockholm Water Conference.
According to Fadnavis, there have been generous contributions made by people - more than Rs 300 crore - which have helped the government to execute nearly 1,00,000 works in 6,000 villages within six months.
"This programme will provide moisture security to the farmers and assure crop sustainability by mitigating the effects of climate change," says Fadnavis.
Moreover, the state government has also taken a decision to reserve 10 per cent water from dams, rivers and wells for cattle in every village across the drought-stricken Marathwada.
The decision to consider village wells as the main water source is also being revisited in the wake of drying up dam water and monsoon failure.
Another major decision of the government relates to the mammoth well-recharge project across 12,000 villages encompassing Marathwada. This project will reportedly serve in the long term if it rains before complete monsoon withdrawal. In Osmanabad, Beed and Latur districts, more than 50,000 well-recharge projects will be undertaken through the national employment guarantee scheme.
To further help the distressed farmers, the state has also decided to implement a food security scheme for six million farmers by giving them wheat at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg.
Fadnavis, who belongs to Vidarba, one of the worst drought-affected areas in the state, has also escalated efforts to help out the farmers engaged in cotton production.