Deshmukh stops speech, listens to a farm labourer

May 10th, 2008 - 7:18 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Kondwardha (Maharashtra), May 10 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh Saturday stopped his speech at a public rally here to listen to a woman farm labourer and answered her grievance. Even as he was addressing the gathering after commissioning the Rs.1 billion Bordinala irrigation project in this village in Vidarbha’s Amravati district, Deshmukh saw a middle-aged woman coming towards the dais and told the policemen trying to stop her to clear the way.

“She (the farm labourer) was saying that you (Deshmukh) talk about farmers and savings group schemes but not about farm labourers who toil all day but do not even get Rs.50,” the chief minister repeated to the gathering after listening to her.

He then said the state’s employment guarantee scheme was meant precisely for such women.

President Pratibha Patil’s husband Devisingh Shekhawat was on the dais besides the state’s Water Resources Minister Ajit Pawar and Minister of State for Finance Sunil Deshmukh. Shekhawat was the first mayor of Amravati while Sunil Deshmukh is from Kondwardha where the irrigation project is coming up.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister dedicated to people the newly built super speciality hospital in Amravati and attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Rs.1.60 billion Nimna Pedhi irrigation project in Nimbha village nearby. The two projects are expected to irrigate 8,400 hectares of land.

Deshmukh also attended a rally of about 2,000 savings groups of women below the poverty line.

After the public functions, he attended a joint kharif crop review meeting of Amravati and Nagpur revenue divisions where nearly 3,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last three years.

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