Mumbai: A scheduled meeting between the governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari and leaders of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress
Party (NCP) on Saturday, to discuss the agrarian crisis in the state was postponed at the last minute.
The reason for this postponement, according to sources, was a stern reprimand from the Congress party high command in New Delhi which
felt that a joint delegation visiting the governor would have conveyed the impression that matters had been settled between the three
The parties are currently holding talks to form a coalition government in the state, which has been under President's rule from November 12.
While the NCP seemed to be okay with the visit, it decided to abide by alliance dharma with the Congress. State Congress leaders were in a
quandary as newly-elected legislators were raring to go but are being forced to toe the line of their party high command.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the governor announced a financial aid package for rain-affected farmers on Saturday. Farmers will receive Rs
8,000 per hectare for their kharif crop and Rs 18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture and perennial crops damaged due to the
unseasonal rains in Maharashtra.
Further, Koshyari announced that farmers from rain-affected areas would be exempt from land revenue payment and education fees for their
wards would be waived.
The untimely rains and delayed withdrawal of the monsoon wreaked major damage in as many as 325 talukas of Maharashtra, destroying at
least 90 per cent of the harvest, causing untold losses to farmers. Marathwada and North Maharashtra bore the brunt of the onslaught.
Sena legislative party leader Eknath Shinde said the meeting was deferred as key leaders of all the three parties and MLAs were busy in
their constituencies in view of the "wet drought" and for submitting details of their poll expenditure to the Election Commission.
The scheduled meeting with the governor had triggered speculation that the three parties might stake a claim to form government, but the
leaders of the Sena and Congress maintained the interaction was restricted to discuss the farm distress.
"The delegation of the three parties was to meet the governor on Saturday. But the key leaders of the three parties and MLAs are busy
assessing wet drought situation and ensuring assessment of losses in their respective constituencies.
"They are also busy submitting details of poll expenditure to the EC. Hence, the meeting has been postponed," Shinde said in a statement.
He said the new date for the meeting would be conveyed later.
“The delegation requested to postpone today’s meeting claiming most of the legislators were unavailable in Mumbai. They requested for
another date, but the Governor is yet to give a new appointment,” informed a public relations officer in the governor’s office.
Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced a special assistance of Rs 10,000 crore for rain-hit farmers as the immediate measure on November 2.
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