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Sharad Pawar Meets Rain-Affected Farmers in Nashik, Demands Relief from Govt for Crop Losses

The NCP chief's visit came amid uncertainty over government formation in the state as the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are bickering over the power-sharing formula.

PTI

Updated:November 1, 2019, 9:17 PM IST
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Sharad Pawar Meets Rain-Affected Farmers in Nashik, Demands Relief from Govt for Crop Losses
NCP chief Sharad Pawar talks to a farmer in Nashik on Friday. (Image credit: Twitter@PawarSpeaks)

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday visited Nashik district in north Maharashtra to take a stock of crop losses due to the rains and demanded that the government help the affected farmers. Untimely rains have damaged crops in many parts of the state.

Pawar's visit came amid uncertainty over government formation in the state as the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are bickering over the power-sharing formula.

"We will raise the issue with the government after getting detailed information. We hope the government will listen to us and help (the farmers)," Pawar tweeted after meeting farmers in various parts of the district.

"The government should provide help to the farmers. We will take strong view in case the government doesn't help," the former Union agriculture minister added, while alleging that the government has not taken any concrete decision to provide compensation to the farmers.

The parameters used for giving compensation are two-three years old while the current situation is different, he added. The NCP president also said the farmers told him they wanted loan waiver, and added that the demand should be fulfilled immediately.

Pawar said the farmers should not take any "extreme step" in the face of this crisis, and efforts will be made to find a solution at the level of both the state and Central governments.

"Do not feel dejected, do not think of taking extreme step. It will ruin lives of your children. We will try to find out solution," he told farmers during one interaction in the presence of reporters.

After visiting grape cultivators in Igatpuri earlier in the day, Pawar tweeted, "The farmers said they have lost crop, suffered heavy losses and are faced with question whether to live or die. No one from the government has approached them the farmers said."

An NCP statement said Pawar will also visit the Marathwada region for a similar inspection on November 6. The party's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik demanded the government assess the situation and provide compensation to the farmers.

"A farmer in Ahmednagar burnt his soybean crop... Farmers are resorting to extreme steps as the government is not understanding their plight," Malik alleged.

Grand alliance (the alliance of NCP, Congress and others) partners will take up the issue with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, he added.

Meanwhile, Pawar's grand nephew Rohit was seen celebrating his victory in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Even as the 79-year-old NCP patriarch was listening to the

woes of farmers affected by the rains, Rohit (34) was being showered with 'gulal' in a huge procession, which comprised 30 JCB machines, at Jamkhed in Ahmednagar district.

He has won the Karjat-Jamkhed Assembly seat, defeating state BJP minister Ram Shinde.

After this contrast was highlighted by a TV channel, the newly elected MLA proffered an explanation, saying his original plan was to inspect crops in the area. "I had come to this area to inspect crop damage due to unseasonal rains. But (party) workers insisted that they want to take out a procession," he said.

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