Siddipet district Collector Venkatram Reddy stoked a controversy by touching Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s feet in the presence of higher officials and public representatives. KCR was in Siddipet on Sunday to inaugurate several government offices. As part of that, he inaugurated the Collector’s office where Venkatram Reddy was present.
After symbolically sitting in the Collector’s chair, Reddy got up, bent and touched the feet of KCR who was standing next to him along with others. A video of the incident went viral.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and several other dignitaries were present when the incident took place. The Chief Minister was seen trying to stop the Collector from touching his feet.
Reddy on Sunday night issued a statement justifying his act by saying KCR is a fatherly figure to him. ”It is part of Telangana’s culture to take blessings of elders during auspicious occasions. I took the blessings of the CM who is like a fatherly figure to me when I was taking charge in the new collectorate,” the collector said in the statement.
Requesting not to make an issue out of it, Reddy said he did so as Sunday also happened to be the Fathers Day. Reacting to the incident, TelanganaBJP’s chief spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao said KCR’s bureaucratic appeasement seems to be working, as District Collector of Siddipet showcased his allegiance to his master- the Chief Minister- by touching his feet in full public glare.
”Antics like these are unbecoming of a senior administrative officer. Such actions lower the dignity, integrity and independence of IAS officers to execute their roles in the state,” the BJP leader said. The State’s administrative officials should focus on delivering their professional roles and responsibilities with honesty, rather than turning into sycophants of their political bosses, he added.
AICC spokesperson Sravan Dasoju said theSiddipet collector prostrating in front of the chief minister is obnoxious and unacceptable. ”Mr Venkatram Reddy has been enslaved by the chief minister just as many bureaucrats in this state of Telangana.
Majority of the bureaucrats have completely forgotten that they are accountable only to the Indian Constitution but not any individual is in power,” he said. He further said the incident only indicated that there is only anarchy and dictatorial rule in Telangana.