A party initiative to create awareness and raise funds to fight drought in Maharashtra has turned out to be a source of embarrassment for the NCP senior members as the young party workers used photos featuring places as far as Africa in the booklet.
The booklet published by the NCP youth wing surprisingly contained no photograph depicting the condition in Maharashtra and instead carried pictures that appear to be downloaded from the Internet without exactly verifying its place of origin. While several photos had scenes of a crowd around a water tanker of Delhi Jal Board, a picture even featured African men transporting water cans in a bullock cart. Another picture that appeared to be of foreign origin is that of a famished cow resting on parched land.
The photos have left many dismayed, particularly when the workers could by themselves have taken the pictures of drought-hit Aurangabad, Jalna in MArathwada region which are just 300 to 400 km from here.“The photographs prove two things - first the party does not have any reach at the grass-roots level of rural regions of Maharashtra particularly in drought-hit regions.
Secondly, the NCP leaders who belong to big and powerful families did not think it was worthwhile to visit the drought-affected regions to get a first hand experience and photographs. This is mockery of those reeling under drought,” said Raju Shetti, MP and farmer leader of Maharashtra. The incident revealed where the youth wing of the NCP was headed, he added. “It appears that the NCP has just outsourced the work to some agency and the results are for everybody to see. They are not concerned about the real issue, they just want to take a shortcut to show how they are working for the people,” said BJP leader Vinod Tawde. He added that it reflected how serious the party was about issue. However, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik tried to justify the blooper saying that youth were focusing their attention on drought issues instead of spending their time at discos and pubs. “First of all, the photographs are symbolic, in stead of criticising or pointing fault with our youth wing, you should appreciate the fact that instead of going to pubs and discos as youth leaders from other parties do, they are focusing on drought issues.”