With Maharashtra reeling under grim drought, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for matches of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament to be moved out of the State in an attempt to save water.

In a letter to IPL chief and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde said it was wrong to waste thousands of litres of water on cricket matches solely held for entertainment purposes at a time when a severe drought was stalking the State.

Up to 60,000 litres of water was used up to prepare pitches for a T20 match, Mr. Tawde said. A single venue guzzled about 2.16 million litres during the tournament, which runs from April 3 to May 26.

Mumbai and Pune, the biggest cities in the State, are to host 16 matches in total.

Rebutting the BJP’s logic, Mr. Shukla said the party did not want anything good to happen to this country and dubbed its opposition a mere publicity stunt.