Indian minister caught relieving himself on wall, says ‘no big issue’
The picture of Kalicharan Saraf, the health minister for Rajasthan state, has gone viral on social media after being tweeted by a member of the opposition party. In the photo, Saraf is seen relieving himself in broad daylight on a wall on the roadside, while his official car is parked nearby.The minister reportedly declined to comment, telling Indian media that the picture was “not a big issue.”
Critics lashed out at Saraf, accusing him and the ruling Bharatiya Janata party of hypocrisy. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long vowed to eliminate open urination and defecation, with the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign run by the government aiming to build millions of toilets in rural India.
While crores of rupees being spent on #SwachhBharat#Rajasthan health minister #KalicharanSaraf was caught urinating on the roadside at Jhalana Bypass in Jawahar Nagar. His personal assistant is also seen standing near the parked car with his back to the minister. pic.twitter.com/Q4Lp0TQmS6— Sunil Ananthapuri (@sunilupdate) 15 февраля 2018 г.
It may not b an issue for Mr. #KalicharanSaraf & defending it too! But certainly it's a blow to #SwacchBharath Abhiyan @swachhbharat On 1 hand #GOI@narendramodi trying to bring about overall behavioral change on sanitation & cleaning, but on d other such un-postering it is sham! https://t.co/IYJemucmLm— Shreyanka S Ranade (@ShreyankaRanade) 14 февраля 2018 г.
This is 2much! He isn't doing it in d middle of NYC. He is from a society where this natural call is relived only this way. Lack of Urban mind-set & public facilities in Rajasthan is d cause. On recent visit to Bikaner, faced same situation in d middle of d city. Water scarcity!— Sanjeev Bishnoi (@SanjeeBabu) 15 февраля 2018 г.
Some sympathized with the minister, however, saying a lack of public toilet facilities was to blame. Others had little patience for Saraf’s behavior. Archana Sharma, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee vice president, said that at a time when so much money is being spent on the Clean India campaign, such "shameful" acts were sending a wrong message.
This should not have happened with the minister in his own constituency in the first place, she told Indian news agency IANS. Singh Dotasara Govind, deputy whip of Congress in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, called for action against the minister. Local authorities started imposing a penalty of 200 Indian rupees (US$3) on those found urinating on roads, even manhandling those caught peeing in public, The Hindu reported.
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