Pankaja Munde clicks ‘drought-selfie’ in Latur, draws flak
New Delhi: Maharashtra's Rural Development and Water Conservation Minister Pankaja Munde landed herself in a controversy when she clicked selfies during her visit to drought-hit Latur district on Sunday.
The minister visited parched Latur to take stock of the canal and barrage construction work and also reviewed the pipeline work to take water from rail wagons for distribution.
Soon after arriving here, the minister headed for Sia village and went to the site of desilting work on Manjara river, which has completely gone dry.
She also clicked few selfies with farmers where the work of canals was under progress. As soon as she shared them on micro-blogging site Twitter, twitterites started trolling her.
Last week, another BJP Minister Eknath Khadse was at the centre of controversy for deciding to take a chopper to Latur, leading to water wastage of nearly 10,000 litres in cleaning a special helipad for him, to take stock of the daily ‘Water Train’ which has been supplying around 5.50 lakh water daily for the drought-hit district.
Meanwhile, BJP’s key ally Shiv Sena criticised Munde for clicking selfies saying ‘the ministers should watch their actions before doing such things.
"Maharashtra is facing severe drought in the state. Women and even kids are going far away for getting water. Even the Shiv Sena is also doing lot of work in those drought-hit areas. And in such a serious situation, the ministers are clicking selfies," Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande said.
"It is unfortunate that a minister went and clicked selfies in drought hit Latur. I think they should watch their actions before doing such things. I think that Pankaja Munde should have avoided this," she added.
Marathwada is one of the most water-deprived regions of Maharashtra. This is the third successive year of drought in the region. Rivers, canals, ponds and nallas have dried up. The ongoing drought has evoked comparisons with the great drought of 1972.