Instead of concentrating on relief work, Pankaja is indulging in publicity stunt by clicking selfies says opposition.
Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde has received flak from opposition parties for clicking selfies while visiting the drought hit Marathwada region. She had visited Latur for overseeing the desilting work undertaken by the state government. Opposition parties like Congress and Shiv Sena said that at a time when Maharashtra is reeling under severe drought Pankaja is busy clicking selfies instead of concentrating on the relief work. Pankaja trolled on social networking site as netizens too posted comments about her selfie act. Some of them said that she is least worried about the water crisis and wants to garner some publicity through this act. Ever since Pankaja has become rural development minister she has been inviting some controversy or the other.
Munde took the selfies with the dried-up Manjara river as the backdrop while on a visit to the parched region to review desilting work on the river bed.
“Maharashtra is facing severe drought. Women and even kids are going far away from their home for getting water. Shiv Sena is doing lot of work in those drought-hit areas. And in such a serious situation, the ministers are clicking selfies,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said taking selfies instead of conducting review meetings is like making a mockery of farmers’ woes.
“This government is not serious about drought. There was no planning to tackle drought even where there was sufficient data available months ahead. She is the Guardian minister of Beed and Latur and yet never held a review meeting in the last one year. Now making this tour looks like a junket, she is mocking the farmers,” he said.
“This could have been avoided. It lessens the impact of such tours. Entire Maharashtra is reeling under serious drought. There was no need of selfie. It is mainly women who are suffering carrying water and a woman takes selfies. It is strange,” she added.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “Maharashtra is facing drought and instead of undertaking drought relief measures Pankaja is clicking selfies. It is unjustified to click selfies during this time.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “The last time Pankaja had undertaken a foreign tour while the state was witnessing severe drought. Instead of helping people she is indulging in publicity stunt by clicking selfies.”
Congress spokesperson Al-Nasser Zakaria termed the ‘selfie moment’ as a “shameful act” by a cabinet minister.
“It is shameful that she has to post such selfies on social networking sites in a bid to show people that she is indeed concerned about the welfare of people. We need the present ministers to be less media savvy and do more work at the ground level which will definitely show in future,” he said.
However, Pankaja remains unfazed by the criticism and appeared keen to put out the correct picture on her tour of the drought hit region. She said, “I had gone to Latur for overseeing the drought relief work. I had clicked selfie but people are politicising it. Some of them had said that my make-up had vanished. People should understand that I have taken this photo at a place where temperatures are reaching 45 degree Celsius.”