On duty to protect Maya, cop cleans her shoes

Mayawati`s personal security officer went beyond his call of duty to clean her shoes.

Updated: Feb 08, 2011, 13:54 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Lucknow: Mayawati’s quirky ways are in the news again, Tuesday. This time it’s because of her personal security officer (PSO) who went beyond his call of duty to clean the Chief Minister’s shoes when they got dusty.

The incident took place in Auraiya district on Sunday during her visit to an Ambedkar village. As per the video footage of the incident, as soon as she stepped out of her chopper, she is seen talking to her PSO Padam Singh while also pointing to her shoes.

Singh, a DSP rank police officer, is then seen looking for something inside the chopper only to quickly take out a handkerchief from his pocket to begin cleaning her shoes.

The shoe-wiping continued for a few minutes even as Mayawati stood talking to district officials who had converged on the tarmac to welcome her.

Padam Singh is said to be part of her security entourage for the past 15 years and had recently got a year’s extension in service. He is also a recipient of the President’s medal of honour.

Opposition parties have slammed the "feudalistic"
attitude of the Chief Minister.

"The manner in which the Chief Minister is behaving
and working is shameful and a security personnel wiping her
shoes is a deplorable incident," SP state president Akhilesh
Yadav alleged.

He said that it was a sad to see that a person
entrusted with the security was wiping Mayawati`s shoes.

"If this government continues then even the officials
will have to do the same act," he alleged.

"She is starting new traditions in politics. First
she got her statues installed now this shameful incident has
come to the fore. This is a feudalistic attitude," Yadav said.

Slamming the Chief Minister, Congress spokesman
Akhilesh Pratap Singh said, "Mayawati, who rode to power by
claiming to fight against feudalism, has adopted the same
culture after becoming the Chief Minister".

"Getting shoes wiped by a government official is wrong
and the security personnel should not have done such an act
for the sake of self-respect," he said.

However, the BSP said nothing much should be read into
the incident.

BSP MLA Nawab Seyd Kazim Ali said, "I don`t think this
is really an issue at all because the Chief Minister never...I
don`t think she asked to security officer to clean her shoes
or anything and this is something which is a non-issue if a
handkerchief falls and if somebody picks it up and so you
can`t make that into an issue".

"If I go in to a village and there is a puddle of
water and If I step into the puddle of water, the people of
the village, somebody will come and clean my shoes," he said
asking as to why everybody was "gunning" at the Chief
Minister.

With PTI inputs