‘Father figure’: IAS officer on why he touched Telangana CM’s feet
An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in Telangana has described chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao as a "father figure" after he was seen touching Rao's feet at an official function - a gesture which triggered criticism from opposition parties.
"Before taking up my duties as the collector of Siddipet, I took blessings from the chief minister who is a father figure to me. There is nothing to talk about. I took his blessings on the auspicious occasion of Father's Day," said Siddipet district collector Venkatrama Reddy.
At an event on Sunday, Reddy was seen touching the feet of Rao, who was in Siddipet to inaugurate a newly-constructed Collectorate building.
Reacting to the incident, Telangana Congress spokesperson Sravan Dasoju said the collector should not have touched Rao's feet, adding that IAS officers in the state had become "slaves and puppets". Dasoju said, " IAS officers in Telangana should not forget they are custodians of the Constitution. If the CM is like your father, you should have gone to his house to touch his feet. What message does this convey to the public?"
Echoing this, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson K Krishna Sagar Rao said, "If these IAS officers have such respect towards the chief minister, they should have touched his feet privately. Such acts deteriorate the integrity, independence and professionalism of IAS officers."
The BJP also took the opportunity to question Rao to slam his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in Telangana. "On the one hand, the chief minister did not announce a lockdown until forced by the high court but on the other hand he lifted the lockdown restrictions in one go, thus putting its outcome to a complete waste," said Krishna Sagar Rao.
(with inputs from ANI)