- Nirmala Sitharaman was in Karnataka to review army's relief operations
- She got upset after Karnataka minister asked her to end press meet
- Torrential rain has hit Kodagu district hard over the last week
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on a visit to Karnataka's flood-hit Kodagu district on Friday to review the army's relief operations, lost her cool at a press conference and blasted Karnataka minister Sa Ra Mahesh publicly. "Central minister following in-charge minister, unbelievable," she said, in a spat that was recorded on camera.
Ms Sitharaman got upset after the Karnataka minister asked her to wind up the press conference at the district commissioner's office citing lack of time. The Defence Minister said she was not at fault for following a "minute-to-minute" itinerary given to her by the district administration.
"I am following a minute-to-minute programme, minister. If officials are important, my parivaar (family) is also important.... Central minister follows the minister in-charge here. Unbelievable," she rebuked Mr Mahesh at the dais.
When told this conversation was getting recorded on cameras, Ms Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, shot back "Let it get recorded."
Asked her to speak in the mic by mediapersons, Ms Sitharaman, still visibly upset, said "Record whatever you want."
Torrential rains have hit the Kodagu district hard over the last week, killing 17 people and leaving a huge trail of destruction. Ms 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.