Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday assured that his government is committed to provide relief to hailstorm-hit farmers in the state and appealed to them not to take any "untoward decision" that could harm them.
Chavan's statement comes in the wake of reports that several farmers have committed suicide in the hailstorm affected districts.
"As you all know Lok Sabha elections have been declared and the Model Code of Conduct has been enforced.
Considering the magnitude of devastation, the government is trying its best to provide maximum relief to the affected farmers," Chavan said.
"Myself and my cabinet colleagues have toured the affected districts and discussed the compensation to be given at informal cabinet meetings. The state government has demanded a financial package of Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre and also apprised the Election Commission of India about the damage caused," Chavan said in an appeal to the farmers.
He said a high-level group comprising Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has been formed. A central team has recently completed its tour of the affected areas.
The state government has already given orders to the district administration to provide relief as per standing orders in case of a natural calamity.
He appealed to the farmers to have courage and the government will go all out to help them to come out of the distress.