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. When told this conversation was getting recorded on cameras, Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, shot back 'Let it get recorded'. Kodagu district Minister Sa Ra Mahesh claimed that Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was angry with him during her visit to Kodagu as he tried to speed up her meetings. Mahesh also dubbed Sitharaman's comments a reaction to the demand for funds from the centre to Kodagu. "She would have known the pain had she contested election by standing with the electorate, going to every house, meeting voters and asked their problems. She has been elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.The district in-charge minister said the state had requested her to ask the Centre to extend relief for Kodagu just like it did for Kerala.