The Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi visited the drought-affected areas in Satara district in western Maharashtra today, and interacted with villagers there.
Mr Gandhi, who addressed a series of meetings with party workers on Friday, flew to Satara this morning, along with the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Manikrao Thakre.
Soon after his helicopter landed, Rahul Gandhi made his way to Zashi village and spoke to the villagers about water scarcity in the area. He later went to Bijwadi and Pangri villages.
At Bijwadi, he took stock of the state government-sponsored employment guarantee schemes implemented there. At Pangri, he visited a fodder depot, which supplies fodder to cattle in the drought-hit area. The villagers sought more funds from the state and central governments to tide over the crisis to which Mr Gandhi responded positively, sources said.
The 41-year-old Congress leader's visit comes three weeks after Chavan visited the drought-hit areas in his native district and had the much-publicised lunch with farm workers.
In 1987, Rajiv Gandhi had visited these drought-hit areas in western Maharashtra and in 2003, Sonia Gandhi had also inspected drought relief measures in the region.
Ironically, Satara is home to the biggest water supply project of Maharashtra, the Koyna Dam. But, barely a few kilometres away, there is acute scarcity of water virtually eight months in a year.
Mr Gandhi arrived on a two-day visit to Maharashtra on Friday morning and spent the day meeting party activists to assess the Congress strengths and weaknesses in the key state ruled by the party.