Clicked selfie to laud local work, Maharashtra minister says

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Under attack over selfies she clicked in drought-hit Latur region, Maharshtra Water Conservation Minister Pankaja Munde on Monday clarified it was in “appreciation” of the work done by the local administration.

“During my Latur tour, I chaired many review meetings on drought relief measures,” Munde wrote on social networking site Facebook.

“We tried to dig deep in search of water but without success. On Sunday, during my visit to Sai Bandhara on the Manjara river, I was really happy to see water in a trench. So I clicked some photos of that trench with water and recorded the work being carried out (normally I don’t do this). I was really happy to see water in such dry place, like an oasis in desert,” she clarified.

“This is not a photo of any event or function,” Munde said, adding, “I clicked that photo in 45 degrees Celcius simmering heat… There was no excitement but just satisfaction to see some ray of hope… just to put the truth in front of everyone… hence this clarification.”

Munde said: “Just could not understand who is getting benefitted by making up and twisting news to kill a personality? Will my poor farmers already under the burden due to severe drought get benefitted?”

Earlier, the Congress slammed the minister for taking the selfie during her visit to Latur.

“Selfie tourism is not the answer to the problems of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra,” Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi told IANS here.

“It is extremely unfortunate and reflective of the Maharashtra government’s mindset whereby they think selfie/disaster/drought tourism is the answer to all the problems Marathwada is facing,” the Congress leader added.

Taking a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Chaturvedi said: “Munde’s actions also reflect government priorities whereby they like to promote more and do less for the people of Maharashtra. There has been no word from the chief minister over the disaster (drought) and selfie tourism of its cabinet ministers. It shows there is no accountability on part of the entire cabinet.”

She alleged that Fadnavis does not have control over his ministers. “It seems the chief minister doesn’t have any authority to seek accountability from such ministers,” the Congress spokesperson said.

The Marathwada region is facing severe drought this year and the Centre has arranged special water trains to transport water to Latur.

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