Taking strong exception to two collectors touching the feet of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao at an official function, senior Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir has urged the Centre to take stern action against the duo. In a letter written to President Ram Nath Kovind and the Centre on Sunday, Shabbir Ali sought action against the district Collectors of Siddipet and Kamareddy for touching the feet of KCR in full public view.
The Collectors of Siddipet and Kamareddy districts of Telangana State, P Venkatrama Reddy and Dr. A Sharath respectively have violated the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968. Both the Collectors touched the feet of the Chief Minister in full public view during the event of launch of District Collectorate office complexes on June 20, 2021 in their respective districts, Shabbir Ali alleged.
"feet of the Chief Minister in a public function, both the Collectors have insulted the Constitution and behaved like political functionaries," he alleged while requesting the President of India to take note of their behaviour and take necessary action. With their acts they have sent the wrong message and set a wrong precedent by bowing down before the Chief Minister, who is a political functionary, he further said.
"The actions of both the District Collectors clearly exposed that they were not maintaining political neutrality. The Chief Minister is also the President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi. Therefore, by bowing down and touching his feet, the District Collectors have conveyed a message to the common people that they were inclined towards the ruling party," he said.
Shabbir Ali, in his letter, said that the Section 3 (ii) of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 clearly says that 'Every member of the Service shall maintain Political Neutrality'.
The Congress leader pointed out that the Collectors have apparently forgotten that as per the Constitution, they are the Chief Officer of the Revenue Administration, responsible for the collection of land revenue, and also the highest Revenue Judicial Authority in the district.
A copy of this letter was also sent to Union Minister of State for Personnel Jithendra Singh. Reacting to the criticism, Venkatrama Reddy on the same day of the incident 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," thecollectors statement had said. Requesting not to make an issue out of it, Reddy said he did so as June 20 also happened to be Fathers Day..