Pankaja Munde Op­posed Wa­ter Cut to In­dus­tries due to Per­sonal In­ter­est: NCP

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Mum­bai: When the Ma­ha­rash­tra govern­ment was think­ing of ban­ning wa­ter sup­plies to dis­til­leries and brew­eries in Marath­wada due to the drought con­di­tions, one min­is­ter came out openly to op­pose the pro­posal. It was Pankaja Munde, the min­is­ter for ru­ral de­vel­op­ment, who op­posed the state govern­ment’s move.

Pankaja’s op­po­si­tion em­bar­rassed BJP as min­is­ters like Girish Ma­ha­jan, who han­dles the ir­ri­ga­tion port­fo­lio, was in favour of stop­ping wa­ter sup­plies to in­dus­tries in the re­gion.

Now the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) has claimed that Pankaja had op­posed the move as her hus­band Amit Palwe has stake in a dis­tillery. “Amit Palwe, the hus­band of Pankaja, is a di­rec­tor in Radico NV Dis­til­leries which is in Shen­dra MIDC, Au­rangabad. Even Pankaja was a di­rec­tor in the com­pany for a while. Wa­ter to this com­pany is sup­plied from the Jaik­wadi dam. It is clear that since her own self­ish in­ter­ests would be hurt, Pankaja had op­posed the move to stop wa­ter to dis­til­leries and brew­eries,” said NCP spokesper­son Nawab Ma­lik. Ma­lik fur­ther de­manded an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the af­fairs of Pankaja’s hus­band. “Pankaja’s elec­tion af­fi­davit says she is mar­ried to Charu­datta Palwe. Her web­site says she is mar­ried to Amit Palwe. We have found out that Charu­datta is di­rec­tor in 36 com­pa­nies. Why are two names be­ing used? This needs to be in­ves­ti­gated,” said Ma­lik.

ET tried to get in touch with Pankaja with­out elic­it­ing any re­sponse. One of her aides said that she would re­spond af­ter study­ing Ma­lik’s claims.

Stop­ping wa­ter sup­plies to in­dus­tries like brew­eries and dis­til­leries has be­come a sub­ject of hot dis­cus­sion in the state. Op­pos­ing the move Pankaja had said, “If th­ese in­dus­tries get wa­ter meant for in­dus­tries then there is noth­ing wrong. Wa­ter should be cut only if they are us­ing drink­ing wa­ter or wa­ter meant for agri­cul­ture.” How­ever, many peo­ple feel that the state can­not dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween wa­ter for agri­cul­tural and other uses in the cur­rent sce­nario of acute short­age. Mean­while, Au­rangabad of­fi­cials have or­dered a 10% wa­ter cut for in­dus­tries and 20% for brew­eries and dis­til­leries.

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