Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bandi Sanjay courted controversy after he was seen picking up Union home minister Amit Shah’s footwear and placing it at the latter’s feet during a visit to the Sri Ujjaini Mahakali temple in Secunderabad on Sunday evening.
Shah flew down to Hyderabad to take part in a public rally in Munugode marking the induction of former Congress MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy into the BJP.
After Shah came out of the temple, Sanjay was seen rushing to the shoe stand. The video that went viral on social media evoked sharp criticism from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and even the Congress.
“Telangana BJP state president MP Bandi Sanjay rushing to give foot-ware to his colleague MP Amit Shah! Gulamgiri at its best,” tweeted TRS social media convenor Y Satish Reddy on Twitter.
“Does placing the footwear at the feet of Gujarati leaders reflect the self-respect of Telangana?” asked TRS official spokesman Manne Krishank.
TRS working president and state IT minster KT Rama Rao said Sanjay “mortgaged the self-respect of Telangana before the leaders from Gujarat and New Delhi”.
“Telangana is keenly observing the actions of such leaders,” KTR, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son, said, adding that the Telangana society would thwart the attempts of such leaders.
Telangana Congress secretary in-charge Manickam Tagore too slammed Sanjay for the act.
“Telangana BJP president Sanjay Bandi takes the shoes of Amit Shah… Telugu Vari Atma Gouravam (Self-respect of Telugus)… What’s the position of Backward Class leader in BJP, see the truth.. (sic),” Tagore tweeted.
Sanjay was not available for comment as he was on a padayatra.
In a separate tweet, KTR also lashed out at Shah for describing the chief minister as anti-farmer. “It’s the joke of the century,” KTR said. “Who copied the Chief Minister’s brainchild Rythu Bandhu and rebranded it as PM-KISAN. Who apologized to the farmers of the nation after facing their wrath over farm laws; after losing 700 valuable lives (sic),” he asked.
On Shah’s comment that the Telangana government was implementing the Centre’s Fasal Bima Yojana, the minister said, “Earlier, the BJP government in Gujarat too had rejected this scheme of NPA Government and opted out. If it is not good for your own state Gujarat, then how is it good for Telangana. What absurd hypocrisy is this?” he asked.