Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar seems to have come up a with a unique solution to tide over the water scarcity in the drought-affected regions of the state.
Expressing his inability to provide water to the drought-affected regions, Pawar asked should people “urinate in the dams?”. As if this was not enough, he added due to the scarcity of drinking water, even urination was not possible. Pawar made these comments during a public meeting at Indapur near Pune on Saturday night.
Reacting to the 55-day hunger fast being undertaken by Bhaiyya Deshmukh at Azad Maidan in Mumbai demanding the release of water, Pawar said, “He is on fast for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible.”
However, with condemnation flying in thick and fast from all corners, Pawar issued an apology. “I apologise if I hurt people’s sentiments with my remarks,” he said. He added that the remarks were not aimed at drought-affected people and hoped that it would not hamper the drought relief work being carried out in the state.
“Ajit Pawar’s remarks reveal the arrogance of power. It is condemnable to make below-the-belt remarks about a farmer who is asking for water through democratic means,” said BJP leader Vinod Tawde.
Even Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray joined in condemning his remarks. The Aam Admi Party, which has held Pawar responsible for the mega irrigation scam in the state, demanded his resignation. A statement issued by the AAP said: “It is shameful and shocking that Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister, has insulted and ridiculed the drought-hit population. AAP demands his immediate resignation.”
This was not the only loose remark made by Pawar at the meeting. He even said due to load shedding at night, he noticed that more children were being born as “lights go off at night and people have no other work to do”.