Pune: Former President Pratibha Patil is no stranger to controversies, especially when they are related to liberal use of government resources and making unreasonable demands. Her recent demand for both government car and fuel reimbursement, when she is entitled to any one, seems to have taken things a bit too far. Many people have now started coming out with their experiences with the ex-President.
Disgruntled beauty parlor owner, Mini Singh narrated her experience to our reporter. She said, “Ex-President had come to our parlor last week for a haircut. We assigned our best hair stylist to the job and we believe that we served her in the best possible way we could. But when it came to paying for the services she received, Pratibhaji refused and demanded that we pay her money instead for keeping her hair. I have never heard anything like this. I mean we have unreasonable customers at times but this is totally unprecedented.”
There were also unconfirmed reports that Pratibha Patil used her influence to intimidate the owner into making the payment. “No amount of reasoning would change her mind,” said an assistant working at the parlor.
It’s not just the parlor owner who is complaining. Others too have similar stories to narrate.
A restaurant owner, who had catered to Pratibha Patil said, “She had come with a group of friends for dinner on Saturday night. We were not sure if she would pay the bill, but fortunately she did. After she left we found a few things amiss. The bowl of sugar-coated fennel seeds, toothpicks and tissue papers were all missing. It is only after we checked the CCTV footage did we realize that she emptied the bowl of fennel seeds on her handkerchief and took it away.”
Sushant Patil, the secretary of a sports club in Pune had invited the ex-President as chief guest for their annual sports day function. He too became a victim of Pratibha Patil’s ‘I keep what I like’ syndrome.
“To make an appearance she not only made exorbitant monetary demands but also took some of the trophies with her, which were supposed to be given to the winners,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pratibha Patil in her defence has said that she did what she was habituated to while she held the office of the President of India. She did that with official gifts, government land and other benefits she received as President.
“Meri yehi pratibha hai. Jo accha lagta hai who rakh leti hu,” she concluded.