Sharad Pawar visits flood-hit areas, meets farmers, says will seek help from PM

Interacting with farmers in Lohara and Omerga talukas, Pawar said, "In 1993, thousands of lives were lost in these areas following an earthquake. People here battled severe odds to rebuild their lives. I am confident they will overcome this situation," he said.

NCP president Sharad Pawar on Sunday toured the flood-hit areas of Osmanabad and Latur districts.

Arriving around 10 am at Tuljapur in Osmanabad district in Marathwada area on a helicopter, Pawar wasted no time in visiting flood-ravaged farms in a handful of villages and interacting with farmers. After reviewing the situation in the district, Pawar said the heavy rain has wreaked havoc in the fields and the farmers needed long-term help.

“Farmers have been hit badly by the heavy rain. The damage cannot be compensated in a day. There is need for long-term help. However, the state government has its limitations while extending financial assistance. We will have to approach the central government for assistance,” Pawar told reporters.

Consoling farmers who lost their entire standing crop in two talukas of Tuljapur and Lohara, Pawar said, “The floods have hit farmers not only in Osmanabad district but in several parts of Maharashtra the situation is similar. I will pursue the issue to get help for farmers as early as possible. In view of the enormity of the damage, the state government alone will not be able to shoulder the burden. We will need help from the central government. I will lead a delegation of MPs to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the issue… The Prime Minister has already expressed the view that floods have caused heavy damage in Maharashtra…,” he said. State minister Sanjay Bansode, MP Omraje Nimbalkar and other leaders were present.

Interacting with farmers in Lohara and Omerga talukas, Pawar said, “In 1993, thousands of lives were lost in these areas following an earthquake. People here battled severe odds to rebuild their lives. I am confident they will overcome this situation,” he said.

Aggrieved farmers urged him to ensure they get the compensation as early as possible. “We need at least Rs 25,000 compensation immediately to carry out rabi sowing. If the government is going to conduct panchanamas of the damaged farms, it will take at least six months… it will be difficult for us to survive if compensation is not given immediately,” a farmer said. Several other farmers echoed the view.

Reacting to Pawar’s announcement that he would lead a delegation of MPs to the PM, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “First, let them conduct a survey of the damaged caused, prepare a memorandum and then approach the Centre. They have nothing ready with them and are trying to place the demand.”

Pravin Darekar, Opposition leader in State Legislative Council, said, “Instead of holding panchanamas, the state government should immediately extend financial help to the farmers. When Shiv Sena was with BJP in government, Uddhav Thackeray used to make similar demands. Now he should act immediately rather than waiting for panchamanas.”

In Nanded, state minister Vijay Wadettiwar faced protesting farmers who blocked his convoy and raised slogans.

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