Lucknow, Feb 8 (IANS) Some people stoop to conquer, others to please maybe. Like Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Padam Singh who created a veritable storm Tuesday when he was caught on camera bending down to wipe the dust from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s shoes.
Padam Singh is also Mayawati’s chief security officer. The clip of him cleaning Mayawati’s shoes with his handkerchief was apparently taken on Sunday when the chief minister was on an inspection of Naunakpur village in Auraiya district, around 150 km from here.
The video footage, taken near a helipad where several people surrounded the chief minister, was relayed by television channels Tuesday. He is seen bowing low to clean her shoes as she talks to senior government officials.
Mayawati continues to tour different parts of the state.
Asked for his comments, Padam Singh told journalists here: “Yeh to manavta ke nate kiya that (I did that on humanitarian considerations).”
The opposition was quick to seize on the incident involving the Dalit chief minister.
Reacting sharply to the incident, senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan told reporters: “It all reflects feudal mentality of Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who believes in reliving the royal monarchy.”
“It appears that the security officer had some serious compulsions that made him perform the shameful act. I would suggest Mayawati appoint a separate contingent to take care of dust along her route and to do such errands as cleaning of her sandals.”
Congress state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi called for Mayawati’s resignation and said: “Mayawati should resign. One the one hand, she claims to fight for the rights of Dalits and, on the other, she disrespects a Dalit in such a manner.”
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also stepped into the brewing controversy and tweeted that he would not let his security guards carry his briefcase.
Omar wrote on micro-bogging site Twitter: “I won’t let my security chaps carry my briefcase, but I guess to each their own (sic).”