At a time when the entire country is praying hard for the safe return of pilgrims trapped in Uttarakhand, politicians of all hues have lost no time in convincing people how they are helping them. On the other hand, we have a great man, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar whose insensitivity in addressing the concerns of his constituents has touched an all-time low.

Pawar, who received flak for his insensitive remarks about drought-hit farmers’ demand for water a few months ago, has bettered his own record by ignoring family members of the trapped pilgrims from Pune.

On Monday, he did not find it fit to listen to the plight of people whose loved ones were untraceable in the rain-ravaged state. He reportedly kept them waiting for close to six hours and left the venue without addressing their concerns. It was not as if Pawar was not aware of their presence, since his personal assistant had been approached for the meeting. Though he met them later, at a venue 5 km away, it clearly exposes the state leader. He holds the second-highest government office in Maharashtra, and yet he does not find the time to meet people who may end up losing their relatives.

Earlier this year, he asked a farmer whether he should urinate in dams to ensure it has water. Pawar, arrogant as he is, could take lessons from his uncle, a far more seasoned politician who knows what chords to touch when confronted with a political or social situation.

Whenever Pawar has blundered, his uncle has come to his rescue and apologised on his behalf. He may have to do so again. The other option is to ask the deputy CM to quit. If he cannot even talk to his state’s people, what right does he have to hold such a high office?