Indapur: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar has apologised for his 'urine' remark and said the government was committed to provide relief to people in the drought-affected regions of the state. "I humbly apologise to the people of Maharashtra for having hurt their sentiments. The state govt is committed to providing every kind of relief for drought-affected regions," he said.
The minister had, earlier in the day, slammed a farmer, who has been on a fast for almost two months demanding that water is released from dams, saying if people should "urinate" to fill water in dams. "Somebody has been fasting for 55 days now. He is some Deshmukh. He is asking to release water from dams. How could one do that? We don't have water in dams, what to do? Should we urinate in the dams? The problem is there is no water to drink so how can we even urinate," Pawar said in a function in Indapur in Maharashtra.
Apologising for his "insensitive" statement, the NCP leader said that some people were deliberately trying to "politicise the issue of drought". Pawar came under sharp attacks from the Opposition for his remarks.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed his statement as "utterly irresponsible", the Aam Aadmi Party (AAM) demanded his resignation over the controversy. "His utterly irresponsible statements are an insult to the people of Maharashtra. This lack of electricity and water is the failure of Congress regime because they indulge in corruption, they didn't bother to augment the resources," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
The Deputy Chief Minister's effigy was also burnt in protest. The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) activists in Kolhapur took out a protest march and burnt Pawar's effigy.