Shiv Sena on Sunday demanded that the owners of IPL cricket teams should contribute Rs 500 crore towards drought relief from the revenue generated through the tournament beginning next month.
IPL teams are owned by industrialists and Bollywood stars who live in Mumbai, Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said adding that the IPL team owners should be committed to the issues in Maharashtra and contribute the amount to the state exchequer.
“Marathwada region is facing acute water scarcity. The state needs funds to tide over the crisis to provide for water supply, fodder for the cattle in Marathwada, north Maharashtra and western Maharashtra. The IPL team owners should contribute revenue earned from the tournament, which would be at least Rs 500 crore,” he said.
The tournament is not a charity but a business venture, he said adding the team owner should look at the grim drought situation very seriously and prove their commitment to the state.
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan should take the initiative to ask the team owners to contribute.
“Otherwise, permission should not be given to play the matches in the state. If the government does not do so, Shiv Sena will decide what to do next,” he said.
Citing the terrible drought in the state, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had said that the IPL cricket matches should not be played in Maharashtra.
When asked about MNS opposition to the IPL-6 Mr. Raut said his party was not against the tournament, but wanted the government to utilise revenue earned from it towards drought relief.
In April-May, the situation is likely to worsen further in Maharashtra’s drought-affected regions, Mr. Raut said.
IPL season 6 will begin on April 3 and end of May 26.
Eight matches will be held in Mumbai.