Central team on drought review making mockery of people: NCP leader

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Mumbai, Nov 21: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde today accused the central team visiting the drought-hit areas in the state of indulging in photo-op and wondered what kind of report it would file after surveying four districts in a single day.

Addressing a press conference here, the NCP leader also slammed the Maharashtra Government accusing it of neglecting the farmers and not providing relief to them.

Drought review team mocking farmers: NCP

"The central team, which is touring the state for the third time, had surveyed the drought-hit areas twice earlier. The Centre has not provided any financial assistance towards drought relief so far. In one day, the central team surveyed four districts.

"They travelled 92 km in three hours. Farmers in Marathwada told me that the team was at every stop for two minutes, which was mostly photo-op. The central team has made a mockery of the hardships of the people reeling under drought conditions for the fourth consecutive year," he said.

The central team's three-day visit to the drought-hit villages started yesterday.

"What kind of report will the team submit and whether it will be factual," he wondered and added that people want to know the reason behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi's step-motherly treatment to the state.

"In Odisha, the opposition BJP held a demonstration demanding loan waiver for farmers. Why is the party opposing such a demand in Maharashtra?" he asked.

Munde said last year the Congress-NCP government had declared drought in 24,000 villages in August itself and central and state funds were immediately made available to provide relief to farmers. However, the current government has no seriousness about the situation.

"In Osmanabad, there are only seven fodder camps for cattle. The government has excluded severely drought-prone talukas from being declared drought-hit. Prime Minister has not taken time to share the farmers' grief and misery so far," he said, adding that recently, financial assistance was provided to Karnataka and Odisha for drought relief, but not to Maharashtra.

The situation in Marathwada is severe, Munde said adding that there is acute drinking water shortage.

"There are no cattle shelters and fodder camps. There is no work on the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS)," he said.

Munde said there is a lot of angst against the government and the NCP would highlight these issues in the Winter Session of the state Legislature next month.

PTI

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