MUMBAI: In a major embarrassment for the Maharashtra government, a video of Water Conservation Minister Professor Ram Shinde relieving in public went viral on the social media on Sunday. Ironically, the day marked the World Toilet Day.
The incident took place on the Solapur-Barshi road when the minister was travelling in a car. “I was touring Maharashtra to oversee the implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. I was suffering from fever. I could not find a toilet on the way and had to relieve in the open,” said Shinde.
Shinde took over the Water Conservation department from Pankaja Munde, currently the Rural Development Minister, around a year ago. He played a key role in the implementation of the Jalyukta Shivar, a flagship programme by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to make Maharashtra drought-free.
As the video surfaced, several political parties began taking digs at Shinde, Fadnavis government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the video shows that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has failed. “How can the PM expect people to follow discipline when his own ministers are a bunch of undisciplined people?” he said.