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Vidarbha farmers demand aid package before the announcement of model code of conduct
An NGO in Maharashtra has written a letter to the state government to declare aid for the farmers before the election model code of conduct comes into force in the next few days.

In an urgent letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) has urged him to immediately announce aid for the farmers, including waiver of loans and seeds for the third round of sowing in view of failed monsoon in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

The VJAS communication came three days after over 10,000 farmers, tribals, farm-widows and youths staged a protest march for their demands in Yavatmal.

"Now, farmers in each of the worst-affected 325-odd villages shall sit on indefinite hunger strike from Sep 5, at the height of the ensuing Ganeshotsav festival," VJAS chief Kishore Tiwari said.

He claimed that at least 22 districts in the state, mostly in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, have had little or no rainfall during the peak sowing season of June-August.

Consequently, in most areas two rounds of seeding went waste and in other areas even third seeding was lost as rains continued to elude these regions, pushing the farmers into further distress.

"After the Election Commission announces the dates for the state assembly elections, may be within the next few days, no aid will be distributed in view of the model code of conduct that will be enforced. We have requested the chief minister to act in the farmers' interest before that," Tiwari said.

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