Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar, whose alleged comments against NCP leaders on Dussehra kicked up a row, today said he regretted his remarks and that it had been misconstrued. The Minister came under criticism from the Opposition NCP, after he made some "objectionable" remarks against the party leaders during a rally at the foothills of Bhagwangad shrine in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday. Jankar today said he was a representative of the poor and had always fought against the high and mighty. "I am not poor in my culture and tradition. I have not abused anybody. I only said the word prominently used in rural areas to describe powerful people resorting to corrupt means. One can check the dictionary meaning also," he said. "Everybody knows the root of corruption for the last several years and many people have spoken about this in their public speeches.
Irrigation scam is the cause of many people's sorrows and everybody knows who is involved. "I did not intend to hurt anybody personally. It is sad my speech was misconstrued. If people's sentiments are hurt, I express my regret," Jankar said in a statement. On October 12, NCP in a statement had said Jankar "spoke ill" and used "derogatory" words for Leader of Opposition (in Legislative Council) Dhananjay Munde and Ajit Pawar. Meanwhile, NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said allegations have not been proved against his party leader. "If one goes by Jankar's comment, there are 22 ministers in the government who face allegations of wrongdoings. Should we use the same word used by Jankar against the ministers?" he asked, saying this was not Maharashtra's political culture. Malik said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should rein in his ministers. He also criticised the Chief Minister for saying some people were trying to create law and order problems. "These people are in his government. The ministers are intimidating people, abusing political rivals and also attempting to create caste divide," he alleged. Malik also alleged that tension in Nashik following alleged rape attempt on a minor girl was due to certain remarks by the district's Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan. Meanwhile, the NCP leader also said Fadnavis should clarify whether today's Cabinet decision to provide 50 per cent fee waiver to students with family income of less than Rs 6 lakh was applicable to private and non-aided educational institutions. "The fee waiver to SC/ST/OBC already existing was implemented only in government colleges," he said. Malik also criticised the government for its handling of the Maratha reservation case in court.