41 border districts in Maharashtra have threatened to agitate to be merged to Karnataka frustated by lack of support from their state govt. Grass is perhaps greener on the Karnataka side for these unfortunate folk as N Karnataka is also reeling under drought. I hope Maharashtra govt takes some concrete steps to help its people instead of helicopter politics wherein politicians from Mumbai and Delhi come and make false promises and then disappear. Maharashtra leaders need to stop concentrating on Mumbai alone as the cash cow. One callous ex-CM of Maharashtra has said magnanimously after a particular farmer suicide that we did not put a case of suicide against the farmer! Maharashtra continues to top the charts in farmer suicides with increasing numbers while most other states report a drop in farmer suicides. Maharashtra and states like Karnataka must study why Gujarat despite being arid does not have farmer suicides in appreciable numbers. Drought-hit Maharashtra villages losing patience With little assistance forthcoming, 41 of them have been threatening to push for merger with Karnataka Malabai Solankar has been waiting since six a.m. on Saturday to collect fodder at a makeshift depot in Sordi village in Sangli's Jath taluka. Now well past noon, she is struggling to not to lose her patience, as are others gathered there. Located on the Maharashtra border, Sordi is part of 41 villages that have been threatening to push for merger with neighbouring Karnataka if the Maharashtra government fails to provide relief in view of the current drought. In the last one month, politicians have paid them visits and promised relief from the government but nothing has transpired. â€œUddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena executive president ) had come yesterday (Friday ), and he told us not to go into Karnataka. He promised that we would get help from the government. But how long will we wait?â€ Malabai asks. â€œThis is the first time we are getting subsidised fodder in the last two months. We have been starving ourselves so that our cattle get food. We cannot afford to have them dying,â€ she says. Asked if she would support the Gram Panchayat's move to be a part of Karnataka, she says: â€œWhat else can we do? We are tired of the government. Assurances don't mean anything unless there is concrete follow-up action.â€ Pomegranate farmer Pandurang Kale echoes her sentiment, saying: â€œThe Ministers have turned our villages into drought-tourism spots. They come and see and tell us they will come back. We haven't even been getting water tankers on time. They promise to send the tankers every day, but we only get water once in three days.â€ Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had also visited the region in the last month. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi visited the neighbouring district of Satara. â€œThe Ministers come and then blame each other. We would have benefited more if the money spent on their trips was utilised for providing water,â€ Prakash Sopale says. â€œI spent Rs. 20,000 on digging a well, but even at 1,000 feet we didn't get any water. Even my pomegranate fields have gone dry. I cannot spend any more on keeping them alive.â€ According to him, the Karnataka government reportedly takes better care of its people. â€œThey get free seeds, and in drought areas the electricity bill is waived. They get enough water, and don't have to struggle like us,â€ he says. State pride For some though, the pride of being in Maharashtra is more important than anything else. â€œHow can we leave Maharashtra? It would be a great shame to the State if we did. Besides, what is the guarantee that things will be better there?â€ Pandurang Kale asks. But he admits that this year has been the toughest to live through. â€œThere is no electricity for 12 hours a day. Even if we dig a well, we cannot lift the water. We have not even got wages for the past ten weeks for working in the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),â€ he says.