“Hold collar of SP, collector to become big leader”: Chhattisgarh Minister

Raipur: A Chhattisgarh minister courted controversy after a video of him, in which he is heard purportedly saying he had advised a boy to “hold the collar of SP and collector to become a big politician”, surfaced on Monday.

Commercial Tax (Excise) and Industry Minister Kawasi Lakhma had reportedly made the remark during Teachers Day celebration on September 5 in a government school in Sukma district headquarter of the state.

Taking a dig at his alleged comment, a BJP leader congratulated Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, saying His minister used good words for the executive”

In the video, the Congress minister is seen sitting among schoolchildren and heard narrating some recent incident of interaction with students.

Lakhma is heard saying to some people who were not in the frame, that once he was asked by a student how he become a “big leader”.

“The boy asked me `how I became a big politician and what he had to do (to become a political leader)’. I told him to hold the collar of SP (superintendent of police) or (district) collector, he is heard saying in the video.

Students and others were seen laughing after his comment.

However, when contacted, Lakhma claimed he had been “misquoted” and had never mentioned about holding the “collar of SP or collector”.

“I visit schools and ashrams to meet students and ask them what they aspire to become.

“Once when a student asked me what he should do to become a leader like me, I told him to study well and then fight for the public cause on the street and do hard struggle.

“The statement of holding the collar of SP and collector, which being shown, is fake. I told him to struggle hard to become a leader, Lakhma told PTI over the phone.

The video was shared by former minister and BJP MLA Ajay Chandrakar on Twitter who sarcastically wrote congratulations to Bhupesh Baghel ji. Your minister has used good words for the executive.

“It would be better if you (CM) send him to Kurud (Chandrakars constituency) so that he can re-inaugurate public works dedicated by me. This will strengthen the democracy, Chandrakar tweeted.