Madikeri (Karnataka): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman got into a heated exchange of words with Karnataka Minister Sa Ra Mahesh when the former was on her visit to Karnataka's flood-hit Kodagu district on Friday to review the army's relief operations.
Nirmala Sitharaman lost her cool at a press conference and blasted Karnataka minister Sa Ra Mahesh publicly, saying, "I follow the minister in charge. Central minister follows the minister in charge here. Unbelievable! You have a list of minute-to-minute for me to follow…I am doing as per your schedule," she said in a spat that was recorded on camera.
The defence minister got upset after the Karnataka minister asked her to wind up the press conference at the district commissioner's office citing lack of time.
"If officials are important, my parivaar (family) is also important,” she rebuked Mahesh at the dais.
When told this conversation was getting recorded on cameras, Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, shot back “Let it get recorded”.
Asked her to speak in the microphone by mediapersons, Sitharaman, still visibly upset, said, "Record whatever you want."
The torrential rains that lashed the district last week has left a huge trail of destruction and claimed at least 17 lives. More than 5,000 people have been rendered homeless.
Sitharaman on Friday visited many relief and rehabilitation camps in the area, including one of the Seva Bharti camps run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS.
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