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PM begins two-day Vidarbha visit

He is likely to offer a relief package to the region, which has seen over 1,600 farmers commit suicide so far.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2006 13:42 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Nagpur on Friday morning on a two-day visit to the drought-affected Vidarbha region.

He was received by Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh at the airport.

The visit comes in the wake of suicides by over 1,600 farmers during the last five years.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce a relief package for the Vidarbha region.

Singh, who landed at around 10 am, immediately left for Dhamangaon in Amravati district, where he is scheduled to meet families of farmers who have committed suicides.

During the Vidarbha visit, the Prime Minister is being accompanied by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Minister in PMO Prithviraj Chauhan and several ministers in the Congress-NCP led Democratic Front government in Maharashtra.

From Dhamangaon, Manmohan would fly to Sevagram Ashram, near Wardha. He would later visit Waifad village in Wardha district and meet family members of farmers who committed suicides.

He would then visit Kolejhari village in Yavatmal district and meet the family members of G Pawar, another farmer who committed suicide in May 2006.

He would then return to Nagpur and address a review meeting on Vidarbha's agrarian crisis. The meeting would be attended by ministers, top bureaucrats and bankers.