Yogendra Yadav demands UP be declared drought-hit

Agra: Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav has questioned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s delay in declaring the state as drought-hit, thereby delaying relief work.

Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday evening said the situation in the state was far worse than in Maharashtra.

Heading a ‘samvedna yatra’ (sympathy walk) through the drought-hit areas, Yadav demanded that UP be declared drought-hit immediately, as 17 of the 30 Indian districts, which received far below the annual average rainfall, were in Uttar Pradesh.

Yogendra Yadav, who parted ways with the Aam Admi Party to launch his new party Swaraj Abhiyan, said the situation in Bundelkhand region was particularly bad, worse than Marathwada in Maharashtra.

His team would soon present a detailed report about the situation, he added.

Covering almost 36,000 km in less than a week, Yadav has been trying to sensitise state governments towards the plight of farmers hit by the drought.

He told mediapersons that he had been shooting letters to state chief ministers to demand urgent steps to address the problems arising out of monsoon rainfall deficit. If loans can be waived for capitalists why not for farmers, he asked.

Yadav urged the UP chief minister in a letter that the state should immediately start work to provide electricity for irrigation, subsidised ration to the affected people, compensation at the rate of Rs.20,000 per acre and developmental projects to provide work for the rural population hit by the drought.

He also suggested that provision of water and fodder for animals be looked into.

Talking to mediapersons here, Yogendra Yadav, national convener of Jai Kisan Andolan, said the condition of farmers in the rural areas of UP was critical as the drought had hit the kharif crop and measures had to be taken urgently to prevent farmer suicides.