MUMBAI: Amid growing uncertainty over government formation in Maharashtra, the plight of farmers hit by unseasonal rain in the state has only worsened, leading to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari calling for an emergency meeting to discuss the issue. This will be the first big meeting the Governor will be convening after President’s Rule was imposed in Maharashtra on Tuesday.
Unseasonal rain in Maharashtra has caused severe damage to the crops, with state administration revealing that around 88.74 lakh hectares of farmland across the state have been destroyed by the rain. It is estimated that nearly 1 crore farmers have been affected by the untimely rain in the state.
Cyclonic disturbances in the Arabian Sea and revival of monsoon as it withdrew led to post-monsoon rain towards the end of October in Maharashtra, damaging almost half the state’s Kharif crop, including soyabean, cotton, maize, jawar and bajra.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to visit rural areas on Friday and meet the farmers who have been severely affected by the unseasonal rains. According to sources, he will return to Mumbai in the night and will hold a meeting with senior leaders of the Sena to discuss the draft of the common minimum programme for a coalition government in Maharashtra.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar too is scheduled to hold a press conference on Friday to address the issues of farmers in the state.
Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government had on November 3 approved Rs 10,000 crore as a special provision to provide immediate assistance to farmers affected by unseasonal rains. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the meeting of a Cabinet sub-committee held at his official residence to discuss the losses.
As there seems no respite for farmers' suffering, the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha on Thursday said that farmers from across Maharashtra will launch an agitation if they are not provided immediate relief and assistance for crop damage due to unseasonal rains.