Shirdi: NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Thursday attacked the Devendra Fadnavis government over the devastation caused by floods in Western Maharashtra, contending its "inefficiency" caused the present situation there. Pawar criticised Fadnavis for "continuing" with his pre-poll 'Maha Janadesh Yatra', a mass outreach programme, despite the crisis situation in parts of the state. The NCP leader said Fadnavis abandoned his yatra for a day (on Wednesday when he held a review meeting in Mumbai on the issue) only after the opposition party pointed it out.
"The government's inefficiency is responsible for the flood situation in the state," Pawar told reporters in Shirdi town of Nashik district. The former deputy chief minister arrived here as part of the NCP's 'Shivswarajya Yatra', a mass outreach campaign launched ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls, due in September-October. Over one lakh people had to be shifted to safer places due to floods triggered by extremely heavy rainfall in Western Maharashtra, Pawar noted. He attributed the flood situation in Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli districts to lack of discharge of water from Almatti dam in downstream Karnataka.
"No proper decision was taken to tackle the present situation despite the BJP being in power at the Centre and in Maharashtra and Karnataka," he claimed. Fadnavis on Tuesday said he requested Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to increase the discharge of water from Almatti dam to mitigate the flood situation in Western Maharashtra districts. "The chief minister (Fadnavis) should have issued instructions to officials in the nick of time. But he did so only when the situation came to a head," Pawar alleged.
The government should have assured farmers from flood-hit areas that it stood with them, but it "failed" to inspire such a confidence among the peasants, he said. "Roads and bridges are getting washed away, buildings are collapsing. But, the government is not planning anything to avert such incidents," he alleged. "Farmers haven't been given loan waiver for three years, state's law and order is in doldrums. The government has failed on all these fronts," he further said. Pawar claimed his party's Shivswarajya Yatra, launched from Shivneri Fort in Pune on Tuesday, was receiving a huge response from people. The yatra will culminate in Raigad district on August 28.