Mumbai: A music video on river conservation featuring Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife prompted the opposition in the state Assembly to take digs at the ruling BJP.
Speaking during a discussion on Governor’s address, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Congress) said, “I wonder whether these are ministers or band members. I saw one viral video clip on river conservation. I was happy to see our CM in it….Now change the name from Bharatiya Janata Party to Banjo Party,” he said.
Fadnavis wasn’t present in the House when he spoke.
The Congress leader said he was, however, “pained” to see that Shiv Sena, BJP’s ally, was absent from the video.
BJP MLA Sanjay Kute objected to his comment. “One shouldn’t disparage the social commitment shown by the CM. He has been doing social service, it’s nothing to joke about,” said Kute.
Manisha Choudhary, another BJP MLA, claimed that Congress MLAs insulted women by calling Amruta Fadnavis, the chief minister’s wife, as “heroine”.
She was referring to a comment by Opposition MLAs that the “hero” CM was seen in the video with a “heroine”.
Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil too asked the Leader of Opposition not to ridicule the CM.
Vikhe Patil denied that he had said anything personal against Fadnavis or his wife.
“If some comments have hurt your feelings, then I apologise. But I said out of care for my friend (finance minister) Sudhir Mungantiwar who is going to present the Budget. Thankfully he didn’t hurt himself in the shooting (of the video) where he is seen standing on a tall rock,” Vikhe Patil said, taking another jibe.
Meanwhile, as the video went viral, the chief minister’s office clarified in a statement this evening that the government hadn’t produced it.
“River March is an NGO which came up with a proposal for creating public awareness to clean up the rivers. It was their idea, and they bore the expenses. It was made clear that the video will not be used for commercial purposes,” the CMO statement said.
It was uploaded on music house T-series’s YouTube channel because of the large following the channel has, the statement added.