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Controversy over bureaucrat touching minister's feet, officer insists its matter of 'belief'

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BHOPAL: A woman official is in the midst of a controversy after she touched the feet of a minister in Madhya Pradesh recently. 

The officer, Sanjana Jain, who is Comissioner with the Dewas Municipal Corporation, had touched PWD minister Sajjan Verma's feet when the minister had arrived to pay obeisance at a Gurudwara.

Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that this act shows the servility of officials and raises serious question over uprightness and image of the bureaucrats. He said that people without a backbone are now becoming part of the 'loot'.

Chouhan even went on to allege that there were 'rates' for everything in the current regime and hence officials are forced to touch feet. BJP state vice-president Vijesh Lunawat too tweeted that this is the new Madhya Pradesh where officers fall at ministers' feet. 

Meanwhile, the State Administrative Service (SAS) association office-bearers have said that this doesn't fall under service conduct rules. However, officials avoid touching feet though it could be someone's personal belief, it has stated."There is no tradition of officials touching feet of politicians", said GP Mali, who heads MP SAS association. 

However, Sanjana Jain, said that she was on leave on the particular day and it is a matter of her 'aastha' (belief). However, Sanjana Jain has said that she doesn't consider it wrong. A state administrative service (SAS) officer, she was earlier in the news when she had a heated exchange with former BJP minister Tukoji Puar.