In starved Maharashtra Deputy CM irked over no ice-cream

Aurangabad:  Even as Maharashtra’s poor starve two engineers in the Public Works Department received a notice to explain why the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was not served ice-cream for dessert on Monday.

Pawar made a stop at state-run guest house in Aurangabad for lunch on his way to Jalna, where he was to address workers of his Nationalist Congress Party after its crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. 

Housekeeping staff at the guest house were left red faced when Pawar asked what was for dessert. On being told there was none, Pawar left without a fuss, but his supporters complained to the District Collector’s office and insisted that it shoot off show-cause notices to the two engineers for the “lapse.”

M B More, the executive engineer in charge of the guest house, explained, “The menu is decided by the liaisoning officer. I was not aware of the menu or if it had dessert. I wasn’t even around when lunch was served.”

The NCP supporters are so incensed at their leader not getting a sweet treat, that they have also demanded the suspension of the housekeeping staff. Aurangabad Collector Vikram Kumar was unavailable for a comment despite repeated attempts.

According to news reports, the opposition has cited the incident as another example of what it calls the “NCP’s arrogance”. Vinod Tawde of the BJP, who is Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra’s legislative council, said, “I would’ve been happy if a district official not providing electricity to a village had been prosecuted, but taking such an action for not serving dessert is ridiculous.”

An NCP spokesperson refused to speak on camera, but off it said he found the behaviour of Pawar’s supporters “strange”. He then dismissed the incident as “too small to react to”. 

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