Mumbai: Accusing the BJP-led Maharashtra government of treating the hailstorm-hit farmers as criminals, opposition Congress-NCP today demanded that it should stop the practice of taking photographs of farmers with slates in their hands as part of assessment of damaged crops.
State Congress chief Ashok Chavan said in a tweet that local authorities are making farmers stand with a slate with their names written on it near the damaged crops, and clicking pictures as part of the panchnama (assessment) process.
He also posted a picture of a woman in Chincholi Bhuyar village in Umarga taluka of Osmanabad district, being made to stand in her farm holding a slate with her name written on it.
"Are the farmers criminals? Is the government in its senses," Chavan asked.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde demanded that the practice of clicking photographs with slates in their hands be stopped immediately.
"Despite facing heavy losses in the hailstorm and unseasonal rains, the government has not announced any relief package for the farmers. But, talathis are insisting that the farmers' pictures be clicked like criminals," he alleged.
The opposition demanded a compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare.
According to the government estimates, three lakh hectares area spread over 3,724 villages in 102 talukas in 19 districts have been affected by the hailstorm and unseasonal rains in Marathwada and Vidarbha earlier this month.
The state has said that it will seek a financial assistance of Rs 200 crore from the Centre to compensate farmers for the losses.