Maharashtra’s controversial minister, Pankaja Munde has issued an incredible defence to justify her selfie in the drought-hit Latur, which earned her widespread condemnation.
The 36-year-old minister said that her decision to take the selfie was to to appreciate the good work done by the local administration in the area.
She tweeted, “This pics are work done by govt n ppl participation it’s my dept n I was working from day 1 sence of satisfaction if it rains we are ready. (sic)”
This pics are work done by govt n ppl participation it's my dept n I was working from day 1sence of satisfaction if it rains we are ready
— Pankaja Gopinath Munde (@Pankajamunde) April 17, 2016
She was later quoted by ANI, “I was really happy to see water in a trench(in Latur), so I clicked some pictures and recorded work being done.”
Her act was widely deemed insensitive with many including leaders from her alliance party, Shiv Sena, and opposition Congress demanded her resignation.
Manisha Kayande of the Shiv Sena said, “In such a serious situation the ministers are clicking selfies. I think they should watch their actions before doing such things. Pankaja Munde should have avoided this.”
A statement from Congress said, “BJP as a whole is a selfie and optics party, this is like making a mockery of the drought.”
On the other hand, local residents in Latur, slammed the Maharashtra governments’ perceived insensitivity towards the unfolding tragedy due to water shortages in the area.
One resident told ANI, “No minister is really serious about Latur. Somebody takes selfies, somebody wastes water for a helipad.”
Earlier last week, the revenue minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government had used 10,000 litres of water to wet his helipad in Latur as he visited the area, reeling under its worst ever water crisis.