Maharashtra Minister Ram Shinde has landed himself in a controversy after a video clip purportedly showing him urinating on the roadside surfaced on social media.
The incident occurred on a stretch of the Solapur-Barshi road when the water conservation minister was travelling in his car.
When contacted, Shinde told news agency that he urinated in the open as he was feeling ill after touring the state nearly a month for the government’s flagship Jalyukta Shivar scheme.
“I have been travelling continuously for the last one month reviewing the Jalyukta Shivar scheme. Continuous travelling in high temperatures and dust made me ill.
“I was suffering from fever and when I couldn’t find a toilet while travelling, I had to relieve myself in the open,” he said.
However, the opposition NCP said the minister not finding a toilet on a highway shows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has failed.
“It is now proved that the government has been looting people in the name of Swachh Bharat cess on petrol and diesel,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
“If the minister did not find a toilet on a highway, it means the government has all along been looting people in the name of Swacch Bharat cess on fuel. The minister has proved that the whole scheme is nothing but a big failure,” Malik said.