BENGALURU: PWD minister and the Chief Minister’s brother H D Revanna courted controversy after a video showing him flinging biscuit packets at flood victims at a relief camp in Arkalgud in Hassan district went viral on Monday.
Netizens who shared the video on multiple platforms have termed Revanna’s action as “insensitive” to those devastated by the floods. But coming to his brother’s defence, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy claimed that it was an unfortunate incident but Revanna’s intention was not wrong.“He (Revanna) is pained that despite all the good work he did, he is receiving flak,” Kumaraswamy said.
HDK defends brother, calls incident unfortunate
The 1.59-minute video doing the rounds shows the minister posing for cameras at a makeshift relief camp set up in a government school. The video has not only attracted criticisms for Revanna but also the Congress, the coalition partner in the Karnataka government. Netizens even compared Revanna’s behaviour to that of the US President Donald Trump when he threw relief material at victims of the hurricane in Peurto Rico.
Kumaraswamy, however, defended his brother and cabinet colleague. “Revanna routed 25,000 litres of milk from Hassan to flood-affected areas and contributed 200 quintals of rice. Yes, he could have asked volunteers to distribute the biscuit packets but it was unfortunate that this happened. He did not do it out of arrogance. He is pained that despite all the good work he did, he is receiving flak,” Kumaraswamy said.
Another video of Kumaraswamy reading a newspaper while sitting in a chopper meant for an aerial survey was also shared on social media to slam the Karnataka government’s approach to floods.“I was reading the newspaper when the chopper was yet to reach flood-affected regions. What is wrong in that?” Kumaraswamy said in his defence.
Here is how many on Twitter reacted to Revanna's act.
Hello we are not beggars here.— doctor doctor! (@icedtea28) August 20, 2018
They are dignified self sufficient people who have worked for a living, who have lost their houses and everything else due to natural calamity.
This doesn't give any politician any right to act with arrogance.
It needs compassion and goodwill
— ಹೆಸರಲ್ ಏನಿದೆ ಬಿಡಿ! (@kanasugarthi) August 20, 2018
I am reminded of time when Trump threw tissues at hurricane victims in Puerto Rico https://t.co/G9rD0KYH3G— ritu (@rvlx18) August 20, 2018
Videos of Revanna displaying disdain for flood-affected victims are being shared on various platforms.
Disgusting display of insensitivity by Karnataka Minister for PWD H D Revanna. Throwing biscuit packs at people in a relief camp, all for a photo op! It isn't enough that govt ensures ppl's safety at times like this, remember to treat them with dignity too! pic.twitter.com/FsA5me1TDj— Anusha Ravi (@anusharavi10) August 20, 2018
BJP asks Revanna to apologise
BJP has demanded an apology from Revanna for his act. “Revanna’s insulting conduct towards those in the relief centre was reprehensible. The minister has insulted the flood victims by throwing the biscuit packets at them, instead of reaching out to them in a humane manner,” said BJP MLC and State General Secretary N Ravikumar.