Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday night promised concrete help to farmers after he chaired his first Cabinet meeting at Sahyadri Guest House in South Mumbai, reported PTI. “Farmers have not got anything, but only assurances,” Thackeray said at a press conference after the meeting.

Thackeray said his government can offer a solution only after getting the real picture. “I have asked the chief secretary to provide a realistic picture about the number of schemes aimed at helping farmers and how much they have benefited them,” he said. Thackeray added that his government’s assistance will be “grand and satisfactory”.

Hitting out at the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led government under Devendra Fadnavis, Thackeray said farmers had been given false promises. “I have seen farmers were given certificates of loan waiver but they did not benefit in reality,” he said. “Even the crop insurance scheme has failed to address farmer issues. We want to provide some meaningful help to farmers.”

As the first decision of his Cabinet, Thackeray sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the conservation of the Raigad Fort, which was the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century. The total expected cost of the project is Rs 606 crore, of which the Fadnavis government had disbursed Rs 20 crore. “I am happy the first decision in my cabinet was sanctioning [Rs 20 crore] for the second round of the ongoing work,” said the Shiv Sena leader.

The Cabinet meeting took place soon after Thackeray was sworn in as the state’s 19th chief minister at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Hours earlier, the newly formed alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress in Maharashtra promised to uphold secular values in the state. In its common minimum programme, the Maha Vikas Aghadi – as the alliance is called – has assured immediate loan waivers to farmers who suffered due to floods this year. The parties also vowed to revise the crop insurance scheme to ensure that farmers who lost their crops get immediate compensation.

The alliance also promised to focus on unemployment, women’s safety, education, urban development, health and industry. The alliance said it will begin to fill all vacant posts in the state government, and provide fellowships for educated unemployed youngsters.