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PM Modi may lose India in desperation to win Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar

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Patna: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked him on the quota issue, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday hit back accusing the Indian premier of brazenly using “divisive language” and warned he may “lose” India in his “desperation” to win the “losing battle” of Bihar.

“Astonished at Modiji’s brazen use of divisive language. In his desperation to win the losing battle of Bihar, I am afraid he might lose India,” Kumar said in a tweet.

Though the Bihar CM did not elaborate, his response came after PM Modi launched a stinging attack on him in his two rallies in which he said that the Janata Dal (United) leader in a speech in Parliament on August 24, 2005 had spoken about giving quota to a particular community, a reference to Muslims.

“Nitish had made his intentions clear way back on August 24, 2005. They lost cool when I alleged that they want to steal away 5 per cent of reservation from the quota given to SCs/STs/OBCs and EBCs and give to a particular community,” PM Modi said on Friday at an election rally in Gopalganj.

Moreover, BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday said firecrackers would be burst in celebration in Pakistan if the grand alliance – and not the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance – formed the next government in Bihar.

“If the Bharatiya Janata Party is defeated in the Bihar assembly polls and does not form a government, firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan,” Shah said at an election rally in Raxaul.

Ruling Janata Dal-United spokesperson K C Tyagi condemned Amit Shah’s statement and said the party would complain to the Election Commission on Friday.

The BJP president said jailed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin would benefit the most if a government led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad came to power in Bihar.

Shahabuddin, a former parliamentarian, is currently lodged in central Bhagalpur jail.

“Time has come for the people of Bihar to get rid of the jungle raj,” Shah said.

He said the NDA would form a government committed to the development of the state. “Only a BJP government can develop Bihar,” Shah said.

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)