Maharashtra’s rural development and water conservation minister Pankaja Munde's 'drought selfies' caused outrage on social media after she posted pictures on Twitter during her visit to drought-hit Latur district on Sunday.
Munde was there to review the de-silting work being carried out by the Maharashtra government.
Here's what she posted:
Selfie with trench of said barrage Manjara .. one relief to latur .. pic.twitter.com/r49aEVxSSk— PankajaGopinathMunde (@Pankajamunde) April 17, 2016
2 selfie with bandhara pic.twitter.com/OKFeyT3OPS— PankajaGopinathMunde (@Pankajamunde) April 16, 2016
After her selfies were circulated on social media, she was accused of being insensitive to the plight of the people in the region. Her action were condemned, with the Congress stepping in to demand her resignation.
BJP's ally, the Shiv Sena, also grabbed the opportunity to hit out at the minister. Manisha Kayande, Shiv Sena was quoted telling ANI: “In such a serious situation the ministers are clicking selfies. I think they should watch their actions before doing such things. Pankaja Munde should have avoided this.”
The minister responded with two tweets to clarify why she'd posted selfies. She claimed it was only an attempt to appreciate the good work being done in the drought-hit region.
This pics are work done by govt n ppl participation it's my dept n I was working from day 1sence of satisfaction if it rains we are ready— PankajaGopinathMunde (@Pankajamunde) April 17, 2016
My knowledgeable friends wason sight visit as a dept head I n my officers were trying many trenches failed here we got water so ws relieved— PankajaGopinathMunde (@Pankajamunde) April 17, 2016
But this was how people reacted on Twitter:
Selfi with drought by pankaja munde,..! This is what happens when leaders made by nepotism and not by true qualities— santosh (@drsantoshDM) April 18, 2016
Pankaja Munde surely had the wrong idea of selfie just like her counterparts blind bhakts have got the wrong idea of patriotism!— Joker (@SagarRajshi) April 18, 2016
Though Pankaja Munde was able to find the place with little water in the background! Excellent 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/AhCHFUoUfO— Akshay Arora (@iakshayarora) April 18, 2016
A selfie in front of a #drought scene shows a tin ear for public opinion. Was Pankaja Munde trying to prove she was actually there?— Sitaraman Shankar (@shankarht) April 18, 2016
Pankaja Munde took a drought selfie? Something that clearly needs a chullu bhar paani— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) April 18, 2016
Pankaja Munde took a drought selfie . Next she and Fadnavis can also take selfies with dead farmer bodies!— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) April 18, 2016