New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday failed to get any assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on drought relief package. Maharashtra had demanded a 2,700 crore relief package from the Centre.
The Prime Minister has asked Prithviraj Chavan to exercise discipline through proper use of allocations made by the Planning Commission.
"I am confident that our demands of 1500 crore for drought relief and 1200 crore for AIBP would be approved by the central government," Chavan said.
An all-party delegation of MPs and MLAs from Maharashtra, led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, which met Singh was told by the Prime Minister to exercise fiscal discipline through proper use of allocations made by the Planning Commission, state leaders said.
Congress MP Vijay Darda said the Prime Minister told the delegation that Maharashtra "will have to be disciplined".
Darda said he pointed out the problems in the Vidharba region which was witnessing suicide by farmers despite visits by the Prime Minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi, who had visited the drought-affected areas of Maharashtra last month, had just on Monday met the Prime Minister to seek relief measures for the area.
Deputy Leader of BJP in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde regretted that Maharashtra was not given any immediate assistance by the Centre to tackle the problem of scarcity of water, fodder and for providing employment inspite of the fact that the state was facing one of the worst droughts in years.
Munde told Singh that Maharashtra needed some immediate assistance and only providing funds for long-term plans will not help the situation.
Taking a dig at the ruling Congress, the Shiv Sena said had it been Mamata Banerjee, "she could have extracted Rs 2000 crore in two minutes."
"The entire Maharashtra Cabinet led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan could not secure even ten rupees from the Prime Minister despite spending 10 minutes with him. But if it was Mamata Banerjee, she could have extracted Rs 2000 crore in two minutes," Shiv Sena leader in the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut told reporters.
Raut said that it was wrong on the part of the Chief Minister to "go with a begging bowl" to the Centre, which should have come forward on its own to help Maharashtra.