Maharashtra Revenue Minister and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil courted controversy Monday when he snapped at a group of flood-affected people in Shirol taluka in Kolhapur who were demanding immediate relief and rehabilitation.
The incident took place when Patil, who is also the Guardian Minister of Pune and Kolhapur, was addressing a group of flood-affected people in Shirol. Kolhapur and Sangli in western Maharashtra are the worst flood-affected districts.
Interrupting Patil, some people tried to draw his attention to their plight. Others started demanding relief. While assuring them of all help, Patil lost his temper and asked them to “shut up” (“guppa raha”) in Marathi.
The state BJP played down the incident, saying that the minister has been monitoring the flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli continuously.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik criticised Patil. “Instead of listening to people and reassuring them, he shouted at them and asked them to ‘shut up’.”
Meanwhile, the Opposition continued to attack the government over the flood situation. Former chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, speaking to the media in his hometown Satara, said, “The Devendra Fadnavis government appears to be giving western Maharashtra secondary treatment. When Sangli and Kolhapur were flooded, Fadnavis was touring Vidarbha for his poll campaign. I wonder if he would have adopted the same attitude if Vidarbha was flooded.”
Hitting back, the BJP accused Chavan of indulging in petty politics. Fadnavis not only curtailed his yatra but also called off his Russia visit scheduled after August 10, it said. Senior BJP leader and spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “Fadnavis responded to the floods immediately by deploying both short- and long-term rescue and relief operations. The chief minister was monitoring the flood situation 24×7.”