Ahmedabad, April 19: A controversy has erupted after a video clip went viral on Saturday, purportedly showing a woman BJP MP showering currency notes on 'devotees' dancing at a religious-cum-community event at the famous Bhalka Tirth in Veraval town of Junagadh district.
The video shows Poonam Madam, who represents Jamnagar seat, showering currency notes of Rs 10 denomination on people who were dancing at the event held last night.
When contacted, Madam defended her act saying it's a "long tradition" of Saurashtra's 'Lok-Dayro' (cultural or folk event in the region) and the money was part of "donation" that would be used for the social cause.
"This was neither the first time that I took part in such a programme nor it would be the last time. It was not like distributing money, it was like a abhivadan (greetings). It is a tradition of Saurashtra for more than 100 years and it was a charitable event of Ahir community where more than two lakh people participated with good spirit and good faith," she told PTI over phone.
She said the cash collected through donation will be used to build a hostel for girls and a gaushala (cow-shelter). "People came there and they were very happy. They were very emotional on becoming part of that charitable event and I too take pride in saying that I was there in the Lok Sahitya event which is called 'Dayro' in Saurashtra. I am proud of it," Madam said, adding that she participated in the function not as a BJP representative but as a "daughter of Ahir community."
When asked about the quantum of donation received, Madam replied she has not calculated money.
She claimed some Congress leaders, including a former MLA, also took part in the programme, but refused to name them.
"The programme was for the betterment of the community. Even some farmers also participated in it. A wrong picture is being presented that farmers are not happy. That is not true.
And it was desire of farmers and people of our community that I should take part in it. It was for the God and community. This is the place where Lord Krishna himself recited 'Bhagwat' in his last days and I immensely feel proud that I was part of such event," Madam said.
She said every community in the country should organise such events for their betterment.
Madam, earlier an MLA from Khambhalia Assembly segment, had defeated her uncle Vikram Madam of Congress to win Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat last year.