Maharashtra rural development minister Pankaja Munde has come under fire from political opponents for clicking selfies while on a visit to drought-hit Marathwada.
“Maharashtra is facing severe drought. Women and even kids are going far away from their home for getting water… And in such a serious situation, the ministers are clicking selfies,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said on Monday.
The Congress, too, attacked Munde. “Selfie tourism is not the answer to the problems of the Marathwada region,” party spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said. “It is extremely unfortunate and reflective of the Maharashtra government’s mindset whereby they think selfie/disaster/drought tourism is the answer to all the problems Marathwada is facing.”
The remarks came after Munde shared her selfies in a series of tweets on Sunday while reviewing water conservation efforts in Latur. “Selfie with trench of said barrage Manjara... one relief to Latur...,” Munde tweeted on Sunday.
“Water conservation is happening massively... isn’t it samwedana for duskhal,” she wrote in another tweet.
The BJP leader was also trolled on Twitter after her ‘selfies’ went viral.
Pankaja Munde's achievements in her debut innings as MLA :— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) April 18, 2016
Office of profit controversy✔️
Selfiesm in drought hit Marathwada✔️
@Pankajamunde seriously a smiling selfie ? Do you have any idea what it takes to get a train of water here!— Kavita Singh (@drskavita) April 17, 2016
Last week, revenue minister Eknath Khadse faced flak for deciding to take a chopper to a village in drought-hit Latur district, allegedly leading to wastage of nearly 10,000 litre water for a special helipad.
Taking a dig at chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Congress spokesperson Chaturvedi said: “Munde’s actions also reflect government priorities whereby they like to promote more and do less for the people of Maharashtra. There has been no word from the chief minister over the disaster (drought) and selfie tourism of its cabinet ministers. It shows there is no accountability on part of the entire cabinet.”
The Marathwada region is facing severe drought this year and the Centre has arranged special water trains to transport water to Latur.