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Maharashtra government package for hailstorm-hit farmers too late: BJP

Thursday, 20 March 2014 - 4:56pm IST | Place: Yavatmal | Agency: PTI
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The Maharashtra BJP unit on Thursday termed the state government's decision to provide relief package to hailstorm-hit farmers as "too little too late". It would just remain on paper as happened during some earlier calamities, BJP state unit president Devendra Fadnavis told reporters in Yavatmal.

The Maharashtra Cabinet had decided on Wednesday to provide special package of Rs 4,000 crore to farmers whose crops were hit by unseasonal hailstorms recently.

"The state government has announced the decision of relief package to the affected farmers merely because (the BJP's prime ministerial nominee) Narendra Modi is scheduled to interact with farmers in Vidarbha region today," Fadanvis said adding that the intention is to garner political mileage.

"There is rampant corruption and red tapism in the panchanamas conducted by the bureaucrats," he alleged and sought to know why the relief package was not announced before the imposition of model code of conduct in view of the Lok Sabha elections.

"We had met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and asked him to declare the relief package before the model code came into force," said the senior BJP leader, who is here to oversee arrangements for Modi's visit on Thursday.

He also claimed that they had asked Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to declare the calamity faced by the farmers in the state as national disaster, but the minister was unwilling for it.

"Over 37 farmers have committed suicide in the state (following crop damage) due to the hailstorm and unseasonal rains so far," Fadanvis pointed out while expressing fear that the number could swell up by the time the relief package (if at all) finally reaches the affected farmers.

On the occasion, Shiv Sena candidate and sitting MP Bhavana Gawali, and other local leaders were also present. 


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