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NCP chief Sharad Pawar meets Devendra Fadnavis, seeks speedy relief for farmers

Mumbai: A day after he concluded his three-day visit to drought-affected Marathwada, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Monday met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and sought immediate help to overcome the water shortage in the region.

“Water levels in reservoirs in the region has depleted and there is acute water shortage,” Pawar told Fadnavis, during their meeting in the Sahyadri guest house in South Mumbai.

“The situation may go out of control if the state government does not tackle it properly,” an NCP statement quoted Pawar as having told the Maharashtra CM. On Sunday, Pawar had announced that he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issue of restructuring farmers’ loans.

“Farmers battling drought need immediate relief. We will meet the PM – if he is in India – and also the FM to discuss restructuring of farmers’ loans,” Pawar had said at Parbhani in Marathwada. There should be no politics over farmers’ problems, Pawar had said, in a veiled reference to BJP leaders’ criticism about his Marathwada tour.

More than 50,000 people from drought-hit areas in the Marathwada region migrated to Pimpri-Chinchwad near Pune during the last month, Pawar said.

“People and cattle have no water to drink but the government is not doing anything. Nothing will be achieved by giving a new name to the Union Agriculture Ministry,” Pawar said, referring to PM Modi’s Independence Day speech on Sunday.