Nagpur, Feb 3: Alleging that the BJP governments in Centre and Maharashtra were working against the interests of farmers and poor, NCP today staged a protest here over their "failure" to provide relief to the drought-affected villages.
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde today led hundreds of party workers, who marched in protest against the government. Starting from the RBI Square, they marched to the District Collector's office. "It has been more than a month that 23,000 villages in the state have been declared drought-hit.
But farmers have not received a penny as relief or aid during their tough times," Munde, who is party in-charge of Nagpur and Wardha districts, told reporters here. "The state has failed to get any relief from the Centre. It had sought Rs 6,000 crore for the relief measures, but till date has received nothing. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a Rs 7,500 crore relief package but has done little to implement it," Munde said.
Accusing the Devendra Fadnavis government of being anti-poor, he claimed one of the first things that the BJP-led government did after coming to power in the state was to stop the supply of foodgrain and kerosene to 1.77 crore above poverty line (APL) holding orange colour ration card.
"When the NCP-Congress government was in power, these people were given 15 kg of subsidised foodgrain under Food Security Plan and the state bore the burden of Rs 120 crore per month on that," said Munde. He demanded immediate restoration benefits to this above-poverty-line category under the public distribution system.
The NCP leader alleged that the BJP came to power in the state in as well as Centre by giving "false" electoral promises like higher crop prices. "Last year, cotton got nearly Rs 6,000 per quintal and soyabean also fetched a good price. This year, farmers are reeling under drought and crop losses and crop prices have come down as the government failed to intervene. The NCP is demanding Rs 6,500 for cotton. The farmers will be left with no option but to commit suicide if there is no timely relief," he said.