Pune: Enraged residents of the Tangewaale Colony gheraoed the guardian minister, Chandrakant Patil, and shouted slogans against him and the BJP-led government, alleging he had come to the flood-ravaged areas only for photo-opportunities and taking selfies.
The colony is situated behind the canal and comprises around 125 slums. There is just one road passing through the area. On Wednesday night, the water from the canal started gushing into the colony, along with water coming in through the front of the homes, resulting in some people being washed away.
Most of the residents have taken a strong stand and blocked the road through which the minister's convoy was going to pass, at Araneshwar Chowk on Friday. Police had to intervene and calm down the irate public and request them to allow Patil a smooth passage.
Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak, local legislator Madhuri Misaal and some BJP councillors were present. The residents were hard to pacify and they kept up a steady stream of sloganeering, condemning Patil. The situation in Pune can hardly be described as calm.
In Katraj, which was heavily flooded, over 19 perished while several people were injured and nine are missing. Private vehicles have been destroyed. Residents say given the high toll and the extensive property loss, the guardian minister should have been present at the scene and directed the rescue and relief operations.
"Instead, Patil rushed to New Delhi to negotiate in the seat-sharing talks with the Shiv Sena. He seemed more interested in appeasing his party seniors than wiping our tears," said an enraged resident.
Residents added after the night of floods on Wednesday, they did not receive the response expected of the administration. It has caused Puneites to become upset with their politicians.