An Indian minister has been criticised for peeing in the open

A minister from India’s ruling party has been criticised for urinating in the open, despite a government drive to persuade people to use toilets.

Video of Ram Shinde relieving himself in a field in Maharashtra went viral on World Toilet Day and has been shared thousands of times on social media.

Opponents said it proves PM Narendra Modi’s cleanliness campaign has failed.

But the minister said he had to answer the call of nature because he felt unwell – and couldn’t find a toilet.

Mr Shinde, who is state minister for water conservation, said he had been travelling for the last month reviewing an irrigation scheme when he was caught short on a stretch of road between Barshi and Solapur in south-west Maharashtra on Saturday.

“Continuous travelling in high temperatures and dust made me ill. I was also suffering from fever,” the minister, from Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told PTI news agency.

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