Maharashtra’s Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar on Monday demanded the Eknath Shinde-led government to declare the entire state as ‘drought-hit’ instead of highlighting water scarcity in 40 or 42 tehsils.
In a statement, the Congress leader claimed that most of the districts in the state have received below-average rainfall and the government is cheating farmers who need support.
“The soya bean production will dip because of the yellow mosaic disease, while the production of cotton is also estimated to remain on the lower side because of insufficient rains… The state government has maintained that a scarcity-like situation prevails in only 40 to 42 tehsils. This is nothing but cheating farmers who are in desperate need of the state’s support,” said Wadettiwar.
He also accused the government of conspiring against farmers by downplaying the severity of the water scarcity situation and its impact on production. He blamed the government for prioritising the protection of the interests of crop insurance companies rather than the farmers.
“Local government officials are being pressurised to report minimum losses of crops so that the state won’t have to demand financial assistance from the Union government,” he also said.
The opposition leader said that revenue officials are also under pressure to show more than 50% crop production in their regions to minimise the crop loss claims by farmers. He said that the state government should take inspiration from the Congress government in Karnataka and help farmers.
(with PTI inputs)