Mumbai ,Feb. 7: Maharashtra minister Ramesh Bagwe said that he has no remorse for picking up the shoes of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, as Rahul was his idol, his leader and he had great respect for his leader. However, Mr Bagwe said that the reason why he picked up the shoes was different, he did his job as a home minister, concerned about the security of the VIP. “I have great respect for Rahul. He is my idol. If I pick up his shoes, I have not committed any crime, ” Mr Bagwe said. He added that his concern was that someone might have put something in the shoes, if they were left behind and everyone had gone towards Dr Ambedkar’s statue where Rahul was to offer flowers. “In our culture we touch the feet of warkaris with respe-ct as they visit the God at Pandharpur, for they have faith in God and his devotees, then what was so wrong in me picking up the shoes?” asked the minister.
Mr Bagwe stooped low enough picking up Rahul’s shoes at Ramabai Nagar on Friday, in the presence of CM Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Mr Man-ikrao Thackeray and Mumbai Region Congress Committee chief Mr Kripashan-kar Singh. Mr Bagwe might have done that to show his integrity as a Congressman towards the Gandhi family, but the waiting media having witnessed the sequence of events targeted him.Even the Shiv Sena had a point to speak about. The party’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray in Pune said that while the chappals from Pune were famous once upon a time, now Puneite picks up Delhi’s shoes, and it was unfortunate that a person who takes pride in picking up the shoes was born in Pune. The media kept on jeering Mr Bagwe as well as the chief minister. Even as there were reports in the media linking the incident to that of Mr Chavan’s father Shankarrao Chavan picking up Rahul’s uncle Sanjay Gandhi’s shoes, there was no reaction from either the CM or the MPCC and the MRCC chiefs.However, haunted by the media, Mr Bagwe on Sunday reacted to the building pressure. He said that he didn’t consider himself as someone extraordinary for being a minister for state.