Mumbai : The incorrigible Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has landed in yet another row for attending the music launch of a film (‘Rajo’) in Mumbai on Sunday evening, just hours after the serial blasts in Patna that killed six people.
The latest controversy has brought into sharp relief his previous goof ups and also that of other senior leaders like Shivraj Patil and the late Vilasrao Deshmukh of the ruling combine.
These leaders had failed to behave in a politically correct manner at the time of unfolding tragedies.
Shinde on Monday justified not changing his plans despite the blasts saying that he had immediately sent crack investigating teams to the spot and was in regular touch with officials in Patna.
The BJP refused to buy the explanation. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted: “Home minister launching music, when there were blasts in Patna. Now it’s time for him to face the music.”
“Home Minister of a country is supposed to make its people feel safe & secure. I wish I could say the same about Shinde,” actor Anupam Kher tweeted.
In May this year, questions were raised about Shinde’s absence from the country when Maoists in Chhattisgarh killed top Congress leaders in a brazen attack. Shinde, then in the US on official visit, had decided to stay back, to reportedly visit his children.
When he was power minister in July 2012, the country witnessed its largest ever power blackout. The entire northern grid failed, plunging the entire zone into darkness.
Instead of admitting to the gross failure of his ministry, Shinde shocked everybody when he said, “We got electricity back in a matter of hours… people should appreciate how work is done at the grid.”
In December 2012, during his parliamentary address, he had appended to the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed the honorific ‘Shri’ and ‘Mr’. On March 14 this year in Parliament he read out twice a part of his statement on the terrorist attack in Srinagar.
No wonder Shinde had been dubbed “Hasmukhrai’’ by the opposition in Maharashtra. His love for dance, music and literature is well documented in state politics. Shivraj Patil had cut a sorry figure, too, as Union Home minister for changing his safari suits with the swiftness of an acrobat while visiting tsunami victims. Former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had likewise abandoned his seat in the state government when he accompanied film producer Ram Gopal Verma to Hotel Taj after the 26/11 Mumbai strike and conducted a guided tour through the ravaged confines of the hotel.