Pankaja Munde Opposed Water Cut to Industries due to Personal Interest: NCP
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.
Our political Bureau