Fadnavis, Thackeray engage in war of words over who will assist farmers between Centre and state
Chief minister and leader of opposition visit flood-affected areas.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 16:40 IST
Pune: The tour of flood-affected parts of Maharashtra undertaken by various political parties turned into a political slugfest on Monday as chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis engaged in a war of words over who will assist farmers between Centre and state.
During his visit to flood-affected areas, leader of opposition Fadnavis said that while the Centre will help farmers in Maharashtra, the state government cannot escape its responsibility.
“It is the state government’s primary responsibility to assist farmers. However, what we see today is a growing tendency of this state government to pass on every responsibility to the Centre,” said Fadnavis on NCP president Sharad Pawar’s remarks.
Pawar on Sunday said that the Union government should help the flood-affected farmers as the state has limitations. Pawar also said he will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next 10 days. The NCP chief also wants the state government to explore possibility of borrowing money to offer financial aid to farmers affected by rains on immediate basis.
Later in the afternoon, responding to Fadnavis’ accusation that the state government is passing on its responsibility to the Centre, Thackeray said that if the Centre gives dues to the state on time, there will not be a need to ask for Delhi’s help.
“I do not want to bring in politics here. However, if the Centre gives our dues on time, there will not be a need for asking anything from the Centre,” said Thackeray.
On being asked why the Maharashtra government is seeking help from the Centre instead of coming forward on its own, Thackeray countered: there is nothing wrong in doing this.
“What is wrong in asking for help from the Centre? After all, the Central government is of the entire country,” said the chief minister, while expressing confidence about Prime Minister Modi extending help to the state saying during his phone call, Modi had assured assistance to Maharashtra.
Modi on Friday called up Thackeray and assured him help as the damage to crop and lives in Maharashtra is huge due to recent rains.
The heavy rains and floods have claimed at least 48 lives in Maharashtra’s Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan divisions last week while crops on lakhs of hectares have been damaged extensively, leading to farmers demanding immediate relief.
At many places in Pune and Solapur districts, farmers have complained that despite four days, the administration has not started assessment of cross damage, as a result of which there is delay in help.