Ajit Pawar apologises for poking fun at drought-hit people

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Ajit Pawar
Mumbai, April 8: Hours after making certain remarks on people in drought-hit areas of Maharashtra, which several parties termed as "shameful and objectionable", Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar tendered an apology here Sunday evening.

In a statement, Pawar said that some of his statements at a meeting in Indapur, in his home district Pune Sunday morning, had hurt the sentiments of the people of the state.

"My statements in Indapur were not related to the severe drought in the state, but since it has caused pain to the people, I humbly apologise for the same," Pawar said in a statement in which the word "apology" figures thrice.

Known for his brashness, Pawar made some controversial comments which several parties and groups termed as "insulting" and "ridiculing the drought-hit population".

"Who is that (Bhaisaheb) Deshmukh? What is the point of his protest? Will it yield water? When there is no water, where will I arrange water from? Should I urinate?" Ajit Pawar said, the Aam Admi Party claimed.

The AAP also cited him as saying: "The population is increasing due to load shedding as people have nothing to do when there is no electricity."

While the Shiv Sena said these remarks proved Pawar has "lost his mental balance", the AAP promptly demanded his resignation.

Alleging that Pawar was responsible for the worst-ever drought in the state, the AAP claimed that he was particularly piqued by the party's protest on the issue last Friday (April 5).

"His statements today show his true face; a corrupt politician who has no empathy for the citizens. And to have such a man at a leadership role is disaster for the state. What is even more shocking is that his statements were met with resonating laughter from the NCP spectators," the AAP said in a statement.

"He ridiculed Bhaisaheb Deshmukh from Solapur who has been sitting on protest since two months at Azad Maidan demanding water for the villages from the nearby Ujani Dam - waters of which are to be diverted to Sharad Pawar's Dynamix Dairy," the AAP said.

Ostensibly perturbed by the outrage against his remarks, Pawar issued a public apology and expressed his commitment to work for the welfare of the people in the drought-hit areas.

IANS

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