GUWAHATI: Prominent Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has targetted Assam's chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over his alleged "insult" towards a high ranking civil servant in the state in full view of the public.
"Please share the ‘clear instruction’ ji issued by you before choosing to insult an officer who was doing his job," she wrote.
"Halting traffic in National Highways including ambulance is not part of our standard operating procedure .No rules prescribed that. Not part of CM protocol. It’s was a over- activism and we need to stop this. If we are trying that in Assam, you should bless us not criticise," Sarma replied.
Sarma on January 15 publicly scolded Nagaon Deputy Commissioner Nisarg Hivare for allegedly halting traffic on NH 127 for the Chief Minister’s convoy to pass. A video clip of the incident was shown on local TV news channels and went viral on social media, where it evoked mixed response from netizens.
While some appreciated Mr. Sarma’s action, many criticised him for “misbehaving” with an IAS officer in front of the people.
The video, telecast by local TV channels, showed Mr. Sarma standing on the highway with one bus and a truck waiting in front of him and many officials along with his personal security officer surrounding him.
At one point he was heard saying “SP ko bulao [call the SP]” and then telling the Deputy Commissioner, “Arre DC saab, ye kya natak hain? Kyu gaari rukwaya hain? [DC sir, what’s this drama? Why have you stopped the vehicles?]”
“Koi raja-mahara aa raha hain kya? [Is any king coming?]” he added.
When Hivare tried to say something, Mr. Sarma was heard saying: “Hatt! Aisa mat karo aage! Logo ka kasht ho raha hain! [Don’t do this in future! People are suffering!)]”
The Deputy Commissioner was seen going out of the frame in the video and the Chief Minister was heard saying loudly “Kholo, gaari jane do! [Open, let the vehicles go!]” After the clip went viral on social media, Sarma retweeted it from one media account and defended his action.
"I reprimanded officials concerned for halting traffic for me, despite clear direction not to create inconvenience for people during my visit. For over 15 mins, NH was blocked incl ambulances. This VIP culture is not acceptable in today’s Assam," Sarma has said on the issue.
However, many netizens have taken affront at what is being construed as "insults" at the DC.
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