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Tackle drought or leave power: Shiv Sena tells Fadnavis govt


Mumbai, Nov 19 (PTI) A day after Uddhav Thackeray asserted that Shiv Sena is all prepared to be a strong opposition in Maharashtra, his party today said it will take up the issue of drought-affected farmers in the winter session of the state legislature beginning at Nagpur next month.

A delegation of Sena leaders today met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the issue and sought immediate measures for affected farmers.

“We told chief minister Devendra Fadnavis that the government should not wait for Central assistance and instead take immediate measures to provide relief to drought-hit areas, including those in Marathwada,” senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam told reporters this evening.

“There have been 359 farmers suicides in drought-hit areas. We reminded the CM about his demand while (being) in opposition that the then CM should be slapped with murder charge for failure to curb the suicides,” Kadam said.

“The government does not have funds to pay salaries to its employees. How will it arrange funds to provide drought relief,” Kadam said, adding that Sena has asked the chief minister to ensure that not a single cattle is sent to slaughterhouse due to the drought.

“We feel the entire state cabinet should camp in Marathwada and direct the administration to take quick relief measures,” he added.

The state government should provide Rs 25000 per hectare to farmers who have lost their maize, soybean and cotton crop due to drought, he said.

The legislature session is slated to begin from December 8.

Uddhav Thackeray will tour Marathwada on November 24 and 25 and review drought situation along with all 63 party MLAs, Kadam said.

The Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Eknath Shinde, who led the Sena delegation to Fadnavis, said, “the chief minister conceded that the drought situation in Marathwada was unprecedented.”

Senior party leader Diwakar Raote said the government should release water to Jaikwadi dam in Aurangabad and also fulfil the old assurance of previous government to give Marathwada its share of 21 TMC Krishna water.

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