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BJP demands relief package for rain-hit Maharashtra farmers

Posted on Mar 10 2014 | IANS

Beed (Maharashtra), March 10 : BJP Lok Sabha MP Gopinath Munde Monday demanded full waiver of bank loans and electricity bills and a special relief package for farmers severely affected by rain and hailstorms in Maharashtra.

"An unprecedented natural calamity has befallen the state in the past few days. Rabi crops have been totally destroyed, besides fruits and vegetables. The state government must give full waiver of bank loans and electricity bills to the affected farmers," the deputy leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha told media persons here in his home town.

"Despite the scale of destruction, I have no idea whether the chief minister (Prithviraj Chavan) or deputy chief minister (Ajit Pawar) or the rehabilitation minister have even bothered to tour the affected areas. This is utter lack of responsibility on their part," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

Demanding a special package from the central and state governments, Munde said surveys have not been carried out on the damage caused nor has the relief package as per the instructions of the Election Commission been disbursed so far.

"Aid must be disbursed in five days. If this is not done, farmers will have no option but to take to the streets," Munde said, hinting at an agitation.

He said as many as seven people have lost their lives in Marathwada region alone. Munde said the state government has not given any compensation to the families of the deceased or medical aid to the injured.

The BJP leader also called upon the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine to immediately convene a meeting of the cabinet to discuss the aid issue.

He denied that the opposition was trying to exploit the natural disaster for political gain.

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