Maha Vikas Aghadi gets nod to disburse flood relief to farmers

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, on Monday, heaved a sigh of relief after the Election Commission of India conveyed that it had no objection on the implementation of the Rs 10,000 crore relief package announced for the villages hit by untimely rains and floods in Maharashtra. The model code of conduct is in place due to the elections scheduled for three graduate constituencies and two teachers constituencies next month. Of the Rs 10,000 crore relief package, the state government has earmarked Rs 4,700 crore to be paid to farmers whose crops were damaged and land eroded due to waterlogging.

Following ECI’s nod, the state government issued directions to release Rs 2,289 crore today, which will be transferred to the farmers’ bank accounts. The government will disburse the balance amount for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure. Of the Rs 4,700 crore to be paid to farmers, Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar said that the government will disburse Rs 2,639 for Marathwada, Rs 566 crore for Vidarbha, Rs 721 crore for Western Maharashtra, Rs 450 crore for North Maharashtra and Rs 104 crore for Konkan. “Rs 2,289 crore will be deposited in the farmers’ bank accounts in the next two to three days,” he noted.

The model code of conduct came into force on November 2 after the ECI announced the elections for the Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur graduate constituencies and Pune and Amravati teachers’ constituencies on December 1. Counting will take place on December 3. The candidates are expected to file nominations by November 12.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had directed the administration to complete the payment towards relief before Diwali. The government was under attack for the lack of distribution of relief as promised by the CM. Thereafter, the state government sought a directive from ECI. However, ECI wants the government to keep a vigil that the model code of conduct is not breached.

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