Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today apologised in the Maharashtra Assembly for his insensitive remarks on drought and load-shedding over which both Houses witnessed uproarious scenes with the Opposition gunning for him.
Ajit’s uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar also apologised for his remarks saying they were “unwanted” while the BJP state unit demanded his resignation.
Ajit’s crass humour at a public meeting on Saturday had the Opposition up in arms against him in the Legislative Assembly and Council, forcing him to issue a personal clarification apologising for his remarks.
“My comments on Saturday were not directed towards drought-affected people and I had no intention to hurt anybody’s sentiments. I hope my comments will not affect drought relief measures which will continue vigorously,” he said in the Assembly, where the Opposition twice forced adjournment of the proceedings.
Facing the heat, Ajit admitted he should have chosen his words carefully.
“The statement made by me on Saturday, April 6, 2013, during a programme was not intended towards the drought-affected people. Also, it was never my intention to hurt anybody’s sentiments,” Pawar told the Legislative Council where too he came under severe attack by the Opposition.
“It is true that I should have spoken responsibly,” said Pawar, adding since the sentiments of the people and legislators had been hurt, “I apologise to all“.
“We are committed to providing water to the drought-affected people, fodder for the cattle and fee-waiver for the students,” he said, as the furious Opposition disrupted the proceedings, forcing the chair to adjourn proceedings thrice.
“If there is no water in the dam...Should we urinate into it?” he had said in an insensitive comment at a function at Indapur near Pune that kicked up a controversy in the state reeling under severe drought.
The NCP leader followed it up with another remark poking fun at load-shedding in the state, saying, “I have noticed that more children are being born since the lights go off at night. There is no other work left then.”
Regretting the remarks made by his nephew, Sharad Pawar said, “I duly apologise on the behalf of Deputy CM of Maharashtra for the unwanted comments that he had made,” he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedekar strongly condemned Ajit’s remarks, saying it was unbecoming for the Deputy CM to have made them when the state is reeling under drought.