MUMBAI: Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde's announcement today that she plans to visit the drought-hit Marathwada region from August 12 sparked off a slug fest between the ruling BJP and the opposition NCP, which termed her move as "an immature political strategy."
Munde said that her three-day visit to the region in order to visit people affected by drought, is part of her duty and it should not be politicised.
Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) legislator Jitendra Awhad called her move "an immature political strategy".
Munde announced today that she plans to visit Latur, Nanded, Parbhani as well as Beed districts and take stock of irrigation facilities, besides crop conditions there.
"During her visit, the minister is likely to take stock of crop losses due to drought conditions, oversee irrigation facilities there and talk to farmers as well as understand their problems," an official from Munde's department said.
NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad said that his party president Sharad Pawar is known throughout Maharashtra for being there with people facing problems and that Munde can never compare herself with Pawar.
"I would simply call her (Munde's) trip to Marathwada region an immature political strategy. Sharad Pawar is known to visit every part of the state and talk to people who face problems due to any natural calamity. Can anybody else have a stature like him (Pawar)? They (the BJP) are merely making a mockery out of themselves," Awhad said.
However, Munde attacked the opposition and said that it is making an issue where there is none and unnecessarily engaging in a political blame game.
"I reviewed a meeting of officials from my district on August 7 and on the same day I declared that I will be touring the region. I am not interested in politicising the issue and there is no question of doing it for any publicity," Munde told PTI.
"I hail from Marathwada and being a part of the government, it is my duty to visit people there and listen to their problems. We will keep working for the people no matter what happens. I feel this is a publicity stunt of the opposition, which is unnecessarily engaging in a political
blame game," she said.