Panaji: Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai on Monday expressed regrets after a video showing him knocking off a ringing mobile from the hands of a state administrative service official went viral, saying he had lost his cool.
In the video, Sardesai can also be seen describing Siddhivinayak Naik, Chief Officer at the Margao Municipal Corporation in South Goa, as a useless officer, in front of a group of other government officials, who are seen taking orders from Sardesai -- the state Town and Country Planning Minister.
"Throw away the phone," Sardesai is seen saying, as soon as the phone present in Naik's hand rings and slaps at the officer's hand knocking the mobile instrument to the ground. The incident occurred during a field inspection being conducted by a team of officials led by Sardesai in South Goa.
"You do not do any work. You are useless and your Chairperson is also useless," Sardesai is heard saying in the video.
The Congress has claimed that the video was "ample proof" of abuse of power by the Minister.
"The legislative wing is trying to subdue the executive by treating them as peons. This action by the Minister smacks of dictatorial attitude," state Congress spokesperson Trajano D'Mello said.
Speaking to IANS, Sardesai said the incident occurred when he was discussing a very serious issue related to the Margao Municipal Council and administration related to his Assembly constituency of Fatorda.
"I was irritated with the ringing phone when a topic of such seriousness was being discussed and for which specifically I had come to the site. I regret that I lost my cool and have expressed the same with MMC's Chief Officer," Sardesai said.