Facing flak for ‘bais’, Sharad Pawar to tour drought-hit Marathwada

Sharad Pawar will tour drought-affected districts in Marathwada and North Maharashtra on February 10 and 11.

The NCP president has taken the criticism by opposition parties that he is concentrating drought relief in Western Maharashtra and ignoring the rest of the state seriously.

Pawar will visit the districts of Aurangabad and Jalna in Marathwada and hold a public rally to give a fitting reply to BJP leaders questioning his integrity.

A couple of days ago, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde had slammed Pawar for ignoring backward regions of Marathwada and north Maharashtra reeling from a serious water crisis.

Munde said, "Pawar has deployed the entire state machinery to tackle drought in his constituency of Madha in district Solapur. The NCP leader is not touring beyond Western Maharashtra."

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who visited Jalna, also took a dig at Pawar for ignoring the regions of Marathwada and North Maharashtra.

Interestingly, Congress MLAs from Marathwada and Vidarbha also met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to complain about the administration's apathy to problems faced by people in their regions.

In a signed statement, they said, "Relief and rehabilitation operations clearly show a lack of concern for Marathwada and Vidarbha. Maximum water through tankers and fodder is being supplied to Western Maharashtra, which is NCP-dominated.

NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Mullik hit back, "Munde and Uddhav should check facts before making such serious charges.

"Pawar was the first politician to express serious concern about the drought on June 2. At an NCP core committee meeting last year, he told state cabinet ministers and party leaders to gear up for challenges ahead. In successive meetings of the party in Mumbai, Pawar outlined plans for the state unit and ministers to beef up relief and rehabilitation in drought-affected areas.

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