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  Metros   Mumbai  07 Mar 2019  Drought could haunt BJP at polls: Activists

Drought could haunt BJP at polls: Activists

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 7, 2019, 2:05 am IST
Updated : Mar 7, 2019, 2:05 am IST

BJP government has declared drought in 24,000 villages across 180 tehsils.

Over 50 per cent of the state’s 1.60 crore farmers have been severely affected.
 Over 50 per cent of the state’s 1.60 crore farmers have been severely affected.

Mumbai: As the state continues to reel under severe drought conditions, it is likely to be a major issue in the forthcoming Lok Sabha (LS) polls in the state. The drought has aggravated the agrarian crisis with factors like rural migration to urban centres, a looming food shortage and distress sale of cattle in the villages.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government has decl-ared drought in around 24,000 villages across 180 tehsils, where over 50 per cent of the state's 1.60 crore farmers have been severely affected.

All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) president Ashok Dhawale said the ruling party BJP has failed to fulfil its promises made in 2014, of complete farm loan waiver, implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Commi-ssion report and the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

“Despite the drought, the state has done little to strengthen the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA), make adequate provisions for water and fodder, and people face food shortage. The mood that prevailed among the rural folks that led to the BJP’s rout in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattis-garh last December, is the same mood that prevails today in these areas,” Mr Dhawale warned.

Leading activist and the Vasantrao Naik She-ti Swavalamban Missi-on (VNSSM) Chairman Kishore Tiwari said, “I have learnt of a few cases of distress sale of cattle in the Beed and Nanded districts. But they need to be verified. Such sales may take place at the weekly markets in various tehsils. They are difficult to track and the reasons could also vary.”

“With depleting resou-rces, farmers can't afford to keep their cattle. They cannot sell them due to the stringent rules in the state and fear of reprisal from parties like Bajr-ang Dal. Thus, they abandon them in forests at nature's mercy,” Mr Tiwari said.

“The government is well aware of the seriousness of this situation. Efforts are being made to ensure sufficient water and fodder supply in these areas. Until now, we have sanctioned 109 cattle camps to these areas, and more shall be opened soon,” said Aurangabad divisional commissioner Sunil Kendrekar.

Tags: drought in maharashtra, mnrega