Ahmedabad: A video clip that went viral today, purportedly shows a woman BJP parliamentarian showering currency notes on ‘devotees’ dancing at a religious-cum-community event at the famous Bhalka Tirth in Veraval town of Junagadh district.
Poonam Maadam, who represents the Jamnagar seat, was seen showering currency notes of Rs. 10 denomination on people who were dancing at the event held last night.
When contacted, she said it’s a “long tradition” of Saurashtra’s ‘Lok-Dayro’ (cultural or folk event in the region) and the money was part of “donation” that would be used for the social cause.
“This was neither the first time that I took part in such a programme nor it would be the last time. It was not like distributing money, it was like a abhivadan (greetings). It is a tradition of Saurashtra for more than 100 years and it was a charitable event of Ahir community where more than two lakh people participated with good spirit and good faith,” she told PTI.
She said the cash collected through donation will be used to build a hostel for girls and a gaushala (cow-shelter).
“People came there and they were very happy. They were very emotional on becoming part of that charitable event and I too take pride in saying that I was there in the Lok Sahitya event which is called ‘Dayro’ in Saurashtra. I am proud of it,” Ms Maadam said, adding that she participated in the function not as a BJP representative but as a “daughter of Ahir community.”
When asked about the quantum of donation received, the lawmaker replied that she has not calculated money.
Ms Maadam claimed some Congress leaders, including a former MLA, also took part in the programme, but refused to name them.
“The programme was for the betterment of the community. Even some farmers also participated in it. A wrong picture is being presented that farmers are not happy. That is not true.
And it was desire of farmers and people of our community that I should take part in it. It was for the God and community. This is the place where Lord Krishna himself recited ‘Bhagwat’ in his last days and I immensely feel proud that I was part of such event,” she said.
Ms Madam said every community in the country should organise such events for their betterment.
Poonam Maadam, earlier an MLA from Khambhalia Assembly segment, had defeated her uncle Vikram Madam of Congress to win Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat last year.