Sharad Pawar called for unity among ‘Marathi manoos’ to overcome Maharashtra floods

With floods wreaking havoc in western Maharashtra and the assembly elections round the corner, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday called for unity among the Marathi manoos to overcome the devastating crisis. Pawar also said states of Gujarat, Bihar and Assam could reciprocate the help extended to them by Maharashtra when they had been hit by natures fury in the past. Interacting with locals from Tambave village in Karad taluka in western Maharashtra, once the stronghold of the Congress and the NCP, Pawar said all-round efforts are needed to restore normalcy given the magnitude of the flood crisis. The former Union minister assured efforts on his part to secure maximum assistance from the Central and state governments for flood relief works. You stay united.We will overcome the situation collectively and show it to the world the Marathi manoos defeats any crisis with unity, Pawar told the gathering. He said all NCP MPs and MLAs have decided to contribute their one-month salary towards the Chief Minister relief fund, and a cheque of Rs 50 lakh will be handed over to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The NCP chief claimed that an amount of Rs 1 crore was raised towards flood relief within half-an-hour in his hometown Baramati in Pune district on Friday. The Opposition Congress and NCP have been trying to build a momentum against the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena by claiming inept handling of flood situation ahead of the Assembly polls, due in September-October. Pawar on Thursday demanded a complete loan waiver for farmers in Sangli and Kolhapur districts. According to officials, 3,78,137 people have been rescued from worst-hit Kolhapur and Sangli districts since the floods swamped western Maharashtra. Apart from Sangli and Kolhapur, districts of Satara, Pune and Solapur also remained under water since August 4. The government has put the death toll in the five districts at 29 till Friday. An official said on Saturday the current discharge at 5,00,000 cusec (cubic foot per second) from Almatti dam on the Krishna river in neighbouring Karnataka is expected to ease the flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli districts.