Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met on Saturday to discuss the drought issue in Bundelkhand after a spate of words were exchanged regarding a water train that was sent to Uttar Pradesh by the Centre. The state government had reportedly denied the water train saying that it needs 10,000 water tankers to ferry water from local resources to the parched region and not a train.
Earlier this week, the Centre had said that it was sending a water train for Bundelkhand, like the ones sent to Latur in Maharashtra. However, the state government said it did not need the train. Confusion prevailed after the train was found empty when it drew into Jhansi.
The incident has been dubbed as "water politics" by the members of Samajwadi Party, who staged a walkout on Friday from the Rajya Sabha despite Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu explaining that the water train was functioning on the Latur model, where the water wagon had to filled from elsewhere in the state, Pradesh18 reported.
"CM @yadavakhilesh & I discussed the need to effectively utilise the period before monsoon for water recharge and conservation efforts. The various drought mitigation measures undertaken in the state were discussed extensively in the meeting.CM @yadavakhilesh & I discussed the need to effectively utilise the period before monsoon for water recharge and conservation efforts (sic)," Modi tweeted on Saturday.
"Meeting with @narendramodi was a very positive one. We focused on the right solutions for the drought situation," Yadav tweeted on Saturday.
The discussion comes after Yadav was quoted by NDTV as saying that, "There is enough water in the dams of Bundelkhand. We need tankers to lift it. A train will not be able to reach those villages."
BJP leader Ganga Charan Rajput told NDTV in Mahoba,"By refusing water the Uttar Pradesh government is not doing the right thing. We did not say anything when he (Yadav) distributed food to drought affected. Why is he refusing water the Centre has sent for the people who need it."
Union Cabinet minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, Uma Bharti, also criticised Yadav, calling him "arrogant" for refusing the offer.