“I made a mistake; now what more can I say?” these were Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s words to this correspondent yesterday, a far cry from his public apology after the Legislative Assembly and Council witnessed noisy scenes and several adjournments over his recent crude remarks about water shortage in the state.
His remarks about changes in urinary habits in a drought-stricken state had the members of the Opposition in both the houses baying for his resignation. Pawar’s statement has drawn sharp reactions from all quarters. Addressing a gathering in Pune, Pawar had ridiculed the 55-day long fast undertaken by a farmer from his uncle Sharad Pawar’s Lok Sabha constituency Madha in Solapur district.
The farmer, Bhaiyyasaheb Deshmukh, has been fasting at Azad Maidan as a gesture of protest. He has demanded that water be diverted from Ujani dam for farms in his region. And Pawar’s ‘If there is no water in the dam should we urinate into it?’ retort has gone down in history as one of the most embarrassing and insensitive remarks made by an Indian neta.
To add insult to injury, Pawar shoved his foot deeper into his mouth with a crass remark about the rise in population thanks to frequent load sheddings in the state. A grim Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar made a statement at the State Legislature yesterday, apologising to the people of the state.
While his nephew’s blunder has put the NCP firmly on the backfoot, the mood in their alliance partner Congress’ camp was far from glum. “Now we can start preparations to fight the coming elections all alone,” was the aggressive reaction of a senior Congress minister, who rejoiced that the statement had caused irreparable damage to NCP.
Congress and NCP coalition partners in the Democratic Front government since 1999 have been on a warpath for over a year now. So troubled is the alliance that no senior minister from Congress quarters has come forward to defend the browbeaten deputy CM, in either house of the state legislature.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan stayed away from both houses yesterday, even though he was in his chamber at Vidhan Bhavan. His absence weakened the NCP’s defence, with the Opposition making the most of his absence. They weren’t satisfied even after Pawar Jr issued his statement of apology, raising slogans and demanding for his resignation. Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse said Pawar’s statement was an insult to the people of the state. He advocated that the house initiate a debate on his resignation.
The NCP has been in rough weather lately – allegations of sexual harassment were made against noted social activist, writer and staunch Sharad Pawar supporter Laxman Mane. Six women have lodged complaints of rape and sexual harassment against Mane.
The party faced another embarrassment when the Thane Crime Branch arrested its corporator Hira Patil from Mumbra for his involvement in the illegal construction of the ill-fated building in Lucky Compound that collapsed on Thursday, claiming 74 lives. The party was forced to announce the suspension of the corporator, who allegedly received kickbacks in return for his green signal for the construction.
@FarOutAkhtar Ajit Pawar fancies himself as a stand up comic. I think his party should take his cue, sack him and let him follow his dream.
@bhogleharsha if any of us said what ajit pawar did it would be the end of our career.
@rameshsrivats Most politician's bios can be found in Wikipedia. Ajit Pawar? Er... Wikileaks.
@mojorojo Irrespective of context, just the fact that *pissing* is part of a political speech is sad.
@suhelseth The Dog Trainers Association of India offers to teach Ajit Pawar how to urinate into a pot rather than a dam!