Nagpur : Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse watching a movie on a day when Jalgaon and North Maharashtra was battered by hailstorm and unseasonal rain drew a severe flak from Congress with party calling him a modern ‘Nero’. Khadse, however, has refuted the Congress attack saying that the movie was about the motherland and is the first in Ahirani, the local dialect.
“The picture showing Khadse enjoying the movie in a Jalgaon theatre exposes Government’s insensitiveness towards farmers,” said the Spokesman of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Sachin Sawant.
Khadse, however, debunked the reports in media that he was enjoying a movie when the hailstorm and rain was causing losses to farmers.
“Yes, I was watching a movie. The movie ‘Hey Matrubhoomi’ (‘O Motherland’) depicted a message on the ground realities and how moneylenders exploit the poor farmers. The movie has a strong social message so it will be made tax free. The government is making all out efforts to mitigate the problems of farmers in the State and taking measures to overcome the drought situations permanently,” asserted Khadse.
Khadse inaugurated the first movie in ‘Ahirani’ – the local dialect of ‘Khandesh’ – area comprising Jalgaon and adjoining area, on Saturday. The photographs of the event received wide publicity as the area received a severe hailstorm on the same day.
Congress spokesperson Sawant reacted sharp to the reports. He said, “Since the past two days North Maharashtra is being hit by hailstorm and unseasonal rain. Revenue Minister Khadse who represents North Maharashtra was expected to come forward and console the farmers. But, shockingly, Khadse, along with BJP MLAs, District Collector and other officials of the district administration, was enjoying the movie. This is really shameful.”
“With Khadse’s anti-farmer statements and enjoying the movie at a time when the farmers were suffering more and more problems, he could certainly be called modern ‘Nero.’ In fact it would not be wrong to call Khadse a modern ‘Nero’ in the wake of his ‘movie love’ and turning Nelson’s eye towards farmers’ problems,” quipped Sawant.
Meanwhile, MPCC has formed regional committees to assess the drought situation and help farmers to avail the government help in this regard. The committees would start their tours of the drought affected areas from Dec. 18. The committees would go to the village level to assess the situation and relief work and would give feedback to the administration on people’s expectations, MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre has said.