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Uma Bharati's “Bureaucracy is there to pick up our chappals” remarks sparks controversy

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Bhopal, Sep 20: In controversial remarks against bureaucracy, senior BJP leader Uma Bharti has said government officials are there only to "pick up our (leaders') slippers". As a video containing Bharti's critical comments against bureaucracy surfaced on social media on Monday, the former Union minister expressed regret over her intemperate language used during an interaction with a delegation.

Uma Bharatis “Bureaucracy is there to pick up our chappals” remarks sparks controversy

The video was shared by several social media users. "Aapko Nahi Pata Bureaucracy Kuchh Nahi Hoti, Chappal Uthanewali Hoti Hai. Chappal Uthati Hai Hamari. Hum Log Hi Raji Ho Jate hai Uske Liye. (You do not know that bureaucracy is nothing. Bureaucracy is there to pick up our chappals (slippers). They pick up our slippers. We only got agreed for that)," she is heard saying in the video.

The former Madhya Pradesh CM further said a government files moves only after a discussion between ministers concerned and bureaucrats. She said, "Do you think bureaucracy controls the leader?..no, first they talk (with us) in private, then bureaucracy makes a file and process it. I have been a minister at the Centre for 11 years, I have been a Chief Minister. First we (leaders and bureaucracy talk) discuss then a file moves."

After the clip surfaced, Bharti issued a clarification in a series of tweets, saying it was an informal interaction with a delegation of representatives from other backward classes (OBCs) at her home in Bhopal and the video of same went viral on social media. "I am thankful to the media that they showed my complete video because I was speaking only in defence of bureaucracy... Some of us leaders, the incompetent ones sitting in power, take the cover of bureaucracy to avoid their inefficiency to show that we are very good but bureaucracy does not allow us to do good work," she said.

Bharti said the truth "according to my experience is that honest bureaucracy supports a strong, true leader sitting in power having good intentions". The BJP leader then went on to express regret for the kind of language she used against bureaucracy. "I regret that I used unrestrained language while my sentiments were good. I learned this lesson from today that modest language should be used even in informal conversations among limited people," she said in another tweet.

Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh, in a tweet in Hindi, termed her comments as "highly objectionable". Singh, a former CM, said bureaucracy is committed to work impartially under the Constitution. PTI ADU MAS RSY RSY

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