Thiruvananthapuram: A top bureaucrat in Kerala has apologised on social media after a public spat with a Congress MP.
Kozhikode Collector Prasanth Nair – a social-media savvy officer popular as ‘collector bro’ among his online fans – and lawmaker MK Raghavan fought very publicly for days.
It started when Mr Raghavan accused the officer of delaying the release of funds for a completed project in his constituency under the local area development scheme for MPs, by repeatedly inspecting its progress.
Mr Raghavan demanded an apology, or “Maapu” in Malayalam. The collector opted for a tongue-in-cheek response, offering, instead, a map, inspired by a popular film in which a woman misunderstood “Map” for “Maapu”, triggering a comedy of errors.
His June 30 post on his personal Facebook page shows a map of Kunnamakulam.
The collector’s attempt at humour backfired spectacularly. Feeling “insulted”, the two-time parliamentarian complained to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and even threatened legal action against the bureaucrat.
Mr Nair apologised today on Facebook, saying: “I had no intention of humiliating the MP. There is no need for me to be too proud. I agree that I can get emotional about certain things…I apologise unconditionally to him for the hurt that has been caused by my statements.”
But the officer also clarified: “Official matters will proceed as per rules.”
According to rules, the collector can order an inspection of at least 10 per cent of the work completed.
The collector has been very popular for helping set up ‘Compassionate Kozhikode’, a platform that deals with projects like Operation Suleimani – a scheme for free meal coupons for anyone who wants to have a meal in Kozhikode.
His apology has been well appreciated by online viewers.