Pankaja Munde’s Selfie Clar­i­fi­ca­tion Falls Flat

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Kr­ishna.Kumar @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Ma­ha­rash­tra min­is­ter for ru­ral de­vel­op­ment Pankaja Munde has landed her­self in a fresh con­tro­versy af­ter her ‘self­ies’ in drought-hit Latur be­came pub­lic.

Pankaja clicked self­ies in the back­drop of dredg­ing work be­ing done at the Sai bar­rage. She re­ceived flaks from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, in­clud­ing Shiv Sena which tra­di­tion­ally has been soft on the Munde fam­ily.

Congress spokesper­son Priyanka Chaturvedi, tweeted, “Pankaja Munde’s achieve­ments in her de­but in­nings as MLA: Chikki scam, of­fice of profit con­tro­versy, self­iesm in drought-hit Marath­wada.”

The NCP too didn’t hold back, “She has mocked the farm­ers through her ac­tions, in­stead of a drought tour, she has gone on a jun­ket click­ing pic­tures,” said spokesper­son Nawab Ma­lik.

With even Shiv Sena crit­i­cis­ing, Pankaja took to Face­book and Twit­ter to clar­ify her po­si­tion. In her tweets she claimed, “Th­ese pics are work done by the govern­ment and peo­ple’s par­tic­i­pa­tion. It’s my de­part­ment and I was work­ing from day one, sense of sat­is­fac­tion if it rains as we are ready.”

How­ever, Pankaja’s claim that the govern­ment was in­volved in the deep­en­ing of the Sai bar­rage in Latur was not ex­actly true. ET had car­ried a story on April 11, ‘ Five Latur res­i­dents raise funds to end wa­ter woes’, where it was clearly men­tioned that the lo­cal res­i­dents had fi­nally de­cided to raise .₹ 7.50 crore to deepen and widen the Sai and Nagzari bar­rages in Latur. The only con­tri­bu­tion from the govern­ment was that af­ter the peo­ple be­gan dig­ging, the lo­cal col­lec­tor sent a ma­chine to help them. When ET con­tacted Pankaja on her claim about govern­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion, she said, “Why didn’t the peo­ple (Latur res­i­dents) do this ex­er­cise on their own ear­lier? This was be­cause they had no con­fi­dence in the ear­lier govern­ment. Now due to the govern­ment ini­tia­tives, more peo­ple are com­ing ahead,” said Pankaja.

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