Kolkata: West Bengal planning minister Rachhpal Singh on Monday courted controversy after one of his security guards was caught on tape while tying his shoelaces at the state secretariat, Nabanna.

Singh, a Trinamool Congress MLA from Tarakeshwar and a former IPS officer, drew flak as TV channels broadcast video footage showing a security officer tying the shoelaces after Singh had paid homage to sculptor and painter Ramkinkar Baij on his birth anniversary at the secretariat.

“Such a thing is unthinkable in the 21st century. This is reflective of the political bankruptcy of the Trinamool Congress and its leaders,” CPI-M leader and former Kolkata mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said.

Social activist Miratun Nahar and theatre personality Kaushik Sen too condemned the incident.

“Unless those surrounding ministers and influential people stop resorting to sycophancy, such incidents will continue to happen. I also have serious doubts if Singh is aware about Baij or his exploits,” said Sen.

Former police officer Samir Ganguly said he was not surprised by the incident.

“Sycophancy is a part of the department. There are many who shamelessly run errands for their superiors, hoping for a better posting and promotion,” said Ganguly, a former deputy commissioner of city police.

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