An engineer has been suspended from work for cutting power to the official residence of the leader of India's wealthiest state because of unpaid electricity bills, reports said on Friday.
A media scrum gathered as wires were snipped on Monday at a government house of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh during a drive against top defaulters in the western state of Maharashtra.
Electricity officials cut the power to the servant's quarters at minister's residence in Nagpur because of two unpaid bills totalling 120,000 rupees.
But retribution was swift for superintendent engineer L M Borikar, who was suspended on Thursday-sparking union leaders to vow protests on his behalf, according to media reports.
The political storm caused by the disconnections forced the electricity company to halt its drive against non-payers.
"What was the propriety of disconnecting power supply ... in full media glare?" state revenue minister Naryan Rane said.
"It was not proper on the part of officials of the power distribution company," he said.
The chief engineer for the state's electricity distributors in Nagpur confirmed the suspension but declined to comment further.
The state's wealth is driven by Mumbai, the financial, business and entertainment centre of India, which supplies two-fifths of the country's tax revenues.