Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said that Maharashtra is facing a “historic economic crisis” and the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government will have to take loan to help those affected by heavy rains and floods, PTI reported.

Pawar, who is on a tour of the rain-hit districts in the Marathwada region, told reporters in Osmanabad district that the Narendra Modi government must step in to help the state.

“In view of the enormity of the damage, the state government alone will not be able to shoulder the burden,” he added. “We will need help from the central government,” Pawar. “I will lead a delegation of MPs to meet the prime minister to discuss the issue.”

The former Union agriculture minister said Osmanabad, Latur, Solapur, Nanded and Pandharpur were among the worst-affected places and that soyabean and sugarcane crops were damaged.

Meanwhile on Monday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited Solapur district and handed over relief cheques to flood-affected families, ANI reported.

Last week, heavy rains and floods claimed at least 48 lives in Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan divisions, while crops on lakhs of hectares were damaged. As per official information, till October 16, as many as 40,036 people were shifted to safer places in four districts, including over 32,500 in Solapur and over 6,000 in Pune, according to PTI.

‘State should extend financial help’: Opposition

Meanwhile, Leader of Oppposition in Maharashtra Assembly Pravin Darekar has said the state government should help the farmers. “Instead of holding panchanamas, the state government should immediately extend financial help to the farmers,” he said speaking to The Indian Express.

Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party chief Chandrakant Patil told the newspaper that the state government should conduct a survey of the damage before they approach the prime minister.