Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has blamed the frequent load shedding at night for the rise in population. After all,what does one do if there is no power? When you are idle you engage in making babies, he said at a public rally in Pimpri-Chinchwad Saturday night.
On the drought situation,he said,There is someone called (Prabhakar) Deshmukh who has been sitting on a dharna at Azad Maidan in Mumbai for the last 55 days. What has come out of the protest? Did he get water? Or is he generating it through passing urine? How can he even urinate? When there is no water available,where does one get water from?
Pawar,who holds the important portfolios of finance and energy,added: I know after listening to me people must be wondering whats wrong today? Did I take a drink in the afternoon?
The deputy CM was seen laughing all through his speech. While the male audience laughed along,embarrassed women bowed their heads.
The loose remarks sparked furore with the opposition calling the NCP leader insensitive and vulgar.
NCP president and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar refused comment,but insiders said he was terribly upset. They said he had asked his nephew to suspend tour of drought-affected areas. State NCP leaders said: Why should we justify everything Ajit Pawar speaks.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said,Ajit Pawar has no business to continue in the government. How can a deputy Chief Minister ridicule people reeling from drought and power problems? We would like to see what action his political mentor Sharad Pawar takes.
Leader of opposition in the state assembly Eknath Khadse said,Ajit Pawar owes the people of Maharashtra an apology.
Leader of opposition in the state council Vinod Tawde said,NCP should take immediate action against him. Sharad Pawar enlightened us on politicians conduct in public life at a recent public function. Now,we would like to see what he tells his nephew.
Following the furore,Ajit issued a public apology on Sunday. I apologise to the people of Maharashtra with all humility for my remarks which I believe hurt the sentiments of people. I never intended to hurt or ridicule anybody anywhere in state. Nor was the remark made against those reeling under drought, he said.
The apology was tendered after senior cabinet ministers of NCP held discussions with Sharad Pawar.