PM Narendra Modi should tour drought-affected regions of Maharashtra: Congress

Opposition Congress on Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself should visit the drought-affected districts of Maharashtra, alleging that the relief measures were ineffective.

Leader of opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said a Central team's tour of the drought-affected districts from Wednesday would not serve any purpose. "Three Central teams have visited the state earlier and nothing has been done for the state which has seen suicides of nearly 3,000 farmers this year," the Congress leader said.

"Prime Minister is done with the Bihar polls and the UK tour. At least now he will have the time to listen to the grievances of farmers," said Vikhe Patil. Vikhe Patil said he had sought details from the government about how many students in the drought- affected districts had to give up the studies because of inability to pay the fees.

"Cotton production has declined this year and the government has set up only 21 procurement centres. Farmers are not bringing their produce to these centres," he said, adding that despite the assurance to set up more procurement centres for soybean, maize and cotton, nothing happened.

The BJP-led government lacked the willpower to bring down the prices of essential commodities, Vikhe Patil alleged. State NCP chief Sunil Tatkare said his party had asked its district units to ascertain the ground reality of relief. Reports would be submitted to him within eight days, he said.

"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has sent a reply to (NCP president) Sharad Pawar's letter about the drought relief. The CM's letter speaks about how the situation is improving after his government's efforts. We have asked our district units to check whether the water supply by tankers has stopped and whether the youths are going to schools and colleges," he said.

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