March 18, 2020
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first_imgShiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday issued a warning to insurance companies that have delayed financial aid to farmers whose crops had been destroyed by post-monsoon rain, while exhorting farmers to fight the crisis instead of despairing.“Do not worry… I know the addresses of these insurance companies,” said Mr. Thackeray, who was on a day-long tour of three districts in Marathwada to interact with farmers and survey the ravaged cropland in the region.The Sena chief was accosted everywhere by despondent and frustrated farmers, several of whom complained of not having received even the loan waiver promised by the government during the drought earlier this year.“This is a major crisis. I appeal to all of you not to despair. The Sena is resolutely behind you all,” he said, while remarking to farmers, “This is not the time to shed tears but to combat the crisis.”This was the Sena’s chief second visit to the region in less than three days. He had toured parts of Aurangabad district on Sunday.“I could have been sitting pretty in Mumbai and playing politics. But I returned to Marathwada as I care about the farmers,” Mr. Thackeray said, trying to assuage disconsolate farmers in Nanded, Parbhani, Latur and Beed districts.In June, Mr. Thackeray had similarly warned that his party workers would not hesitate to “straighten” insurance companies and banks denying financial aid to drought-hit farmers in Marathwada. The Sena chief, who surveyed a number of rain-hit villages, refused to answer any questions on the impasse over government formation. While his party is in a game of brinkmanship with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), thus delaying the government formation process, Mr. Thackeray is projecting himself as being above petty wrangling for power.At a village in Kandhar in Nanded, when a tearful farmer related his condition, Mr. Thackeray, Sena ministers and assembled officials repeatedly reassured him of immediate help.In yet another incident, two minor girls, ostensibly daughters of farmers, went up to the Sena chief and presented him with a ‘bouquet’ of the rotting soybean crop, appealing to him for immediate help.Mr. Thackeray directed party workers to make provisions for fodder and set up help centres at the taluka level to facilitate disbursement of insurance aid.During his visit to Aurangabad, Mr. Thackeray had dubbed the ₹10,000-crore relief package for farmers announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis “grossly inadequate” and demanded that the government provide compensation of ₹25,000 per hectare to farmers without any conditions.last_img