Pawar apologizes for remarks after uproar in Maha legislature

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar

MUMBAI: Under fire from the Opposition for his insensitive remarks on drought and load-shedding, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today tendered apology in both Houses of the state legislature which witnessed uproarious scenes and repeated adjournments.

Pawar’s coarse humor at a public meeting on Saturday had the Opposition up in arms against him in the Legislative Assembly and Council, forcing the Deputy Chief Minister to issue a personal clarification apologizing for his remarks.

“My comments on Saturday were not directed towards drought-affected people and I had no intention to hurt anybody’s sentiments. I hope my comments will not affect drought relief measures which will continue vigorously,” he said in the Assembly, where the Opposition twice forced adjournment of the proceedings.

Ajit, nephew of Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, admitted he should have chosen his words carefully.

“The statement made by me on Saturday, April 6, 2013, during a program was not intended towards the drought-affected people. Also, it was never my intention to hurt anybody‚Äôs sentiments,” Pawar told the Legislative Council where too he came under severe attack by the Opposition.

“It is true that I should have spoken responsibly,” said Pawar, adding since the sentiments of the people and legislators had been hurt, “I apologies to all”.

“We are committed to providing water to the drought-affected people, fodder for the cattle and fee-waiver for the students,” he said, as the furious Opposition disrupted the proceedings, forcing the chair to adjourn proceedings thrice.

“If there is no water in the dam…Should we urinate into it?” he had said in an insensitive comment at a function at Indapur near Pune that kicked up a controversy in the state reeling under severe drought.

The NCP leader followed it up with another remark poking fun at load-shedding in the state, saying, “I have noticed that more children are being born since the lights go off at night. There is no other work left then.”

NCP boss Sharad Pawar too today apologized for the controversial comments by his nephew, terming them as “unwanted”.

“I duly apologies on the behalf of Deputy CM of Maharashtra for the unwanted comment that he had made,” he said on micro-blogging site Twitter. –PTI

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