Army personnel carry out rescue operations in the flood hit areas of Maharashtra.
Kolhapur: The deaths of 30 people in various flood-related incidents in Maharashtra in the past one week have not deterred the state's Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan from taking selfies during a tour of the affected regions, attracting widespread flak on Friday.
Sporting a bright orange-and-black life-vest, Mahajan was aboard a government rescue boat for the tour in some of the worst-hit localities of Kolhapur-Sangli and its surroundings on Thursday evening.
En route, he was seen very jovial, cheerfully clicking selfies, laughing, smiling, apparently cracking jokes with some others on the boat, even as tragic news had just emerged of 12 villagers drowning after their rescue boat sank in Brahmnal village in adjoining Sangli district.
He was accompanied by a top IPS officer on the trip, who was also seen smiling for a selfie.
Maharashtra Opposition parties attacked Mahajan and demanded that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should take action against the Minister for his insensitive attitude towards the flood-hit people suffering since over a week.
Leader of Opposition in Council and Nationalist Congress Party MLA Dhananjay Munde tweeted: "Are the rulers left with any sensitivity? Devendra Fadnavisji, take resignation of this insensitive Minister, suspend the officials concerned".
"Mahajan should be ashamed of himselfa People are marooned and waiting on rooftops for rescue without food or water, but the Minister is busy on 'flood tourism'," Munde lashed out.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray also attacked Mahajan for clicking selfies and wondered if the state government was concerned about the plight of the people in any way.
Former Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said the people of Kolhapur weree "totally dependent on the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, NDRF, SDRF" for their rescue as Ministers were only indulging in "flood tourism".
"In the face of such a massive tragedy and loss of over 30 lives, how could the minister feel so happy and click selfies? The Chief Minister must immediately sack him from the cabinet," Nirupam demanded.
Mahajan was also widely trolled on social media and other platforms and people warned that the government would pay for in the upcoming Assembly polls.