Politics

Row After Maharashtra CM's Photo Appears on Relief Material in Sangli, NCP Brands it Self-Promotion

Row After Maharashtra CM's Photo Appears on Relief Material in Sangli, NCP Brands it Self-Promotion

Mumbai: Maharashtra NCP leader Dhananjay Munde on Saturday accused the BJP-led government of engaging in "self promotion" while distributing relief to flood victims in Sangli district of the state, and termed the dispensation as being "selfish".

Interestingly, state Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan of BJP on Friday stoked a controversy after two selfie videos surfaced purportedly showing him smiling and waving hands cheerfully as he inspected parts of the flood-battered Kolhapur district.

Munde has posted images of the plastic bags containing rice and wheat, meant to be supplied to the victims, bearing photographs of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and local BJP MLA Suresh Halvankar.

The stickers on which the photographs are printed read: "free rice and wheat distribution to flood-affected families (August 2019)". "What the government has prioritised? Putting stickers. It did not provide relief to the flood-affected for

two days so that the stickers could be printed. The children are out on the roads.

"These people, however, are being prompt in printing their photos on the sticker. You will kill people out of hunger for the show off," the Leader of Opposition in the

Legislative Council tweeted, along with the hashtag "selfishgovernment".

Defending the decision to use the stickers, Halvankar, who represents Ichalkaranji seat, said it was done to help the affected people know the food grain is being provided to them on behalf of the government free of cost.

He labelled Munde's allegation as "false" and accused the NCP of being "bereft" of issues, as the government has been providing "speedy assistance" to the affected people.

"Given the people have lost everything they had, the chief minister took a revolutionary decision of distributing to the people food grain of the quantity which will suffice them for 15 days for free," Halvankar said.

"The stickers were put on so people will know the food is for free and none loots them," he added.

The MLA further said the food is being provided through the public distribution system and that the ruling party has no role in it.

On the stickers carrying his photo too, Halvankar said an MLA is the chairperson of the ration committee of his constituency, a fact he said the NCP is "unaware" of.

"The NCP is left with no political issue. The chief minister is sensitive. He started central kitchen for the flood-affected people...they are trying to politicise such

crisis out of desperation," he added.

Heavy rain-triggered floods have inundated Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune and Solapur districts since the last six days, prompting widescale rescue operations.

Over 2.85 lakh people were rescued due to the devastating floods from these districts. At least 29 people have lost their lives in flood till Friday.

The Opposition parties have been accusing the state government of inept handling of the flood situation.

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