Mumbai: Even as flood waters are receding in western Maharashtra, the flood of controversies during rescue and relief operations simply does not seem to subside.
Maharashtra BJP chief and state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil waded into a fresh one on Sunday, while inspecting relief proceedings. He was caught on camera, yelling at a group of afflicted people airing their grievance.
Patil, who is also the guardian minister of Kolhapur and Pune, was telling people not to worry and exhorting them to be patient and have faith in the administration. But shortly after, he lost his cool and shouted at a man in a relief camp.
"Once the road from Shiroli starts, more amenities will be available. I understand you need amenities at this point in time but you must understand, you have to request things and facilities. You need to be patient.
The government is on your side but you have to understand, there's no point in complaining. Officials have been working tirelessly for over 24 hours, with no sleep, and you still want to complain about them?" he can be heard telling the agitated crowd.
When the chorus of complaints continues, even as he is speaking, he is seen angrily gesturing to the crowd, asking it to settle down and at one point, arrogantly asks them to shut up. Patil is from Kolhapur and was appointed the BJP's state unit chief in July this year.
He is also a strong contender for the chief minister's post. State water resources minister Girish Mahajan found himself in hot water last week, after two videos showing him smiling and waving even as he was in the midst of surveying flood-hit areas of Kolhapur district, surfaced on Friday.
Before this, the relief and rehabilitation minister and guardian minister of Sangli, Subhash Deshmukh, attended a party meeting at Pune, instead of reviewing rescue and relief operations in Kolhapur and Sangli.