Raipur: Bastar collector Amit Kataria defended himself after controversy erupted over violation of protocol by him while receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi during latter's visit to the state on April 9.
The IAS officer, while clarifying his position, said that a formal suit or a 'bandhgala' at sweltering 40 degrees was impractical.
"Bastar is very hot in May with temperature above 40s. Wearing bandgala for hours, while looking after arrangements, is not practical. I was dressed in complete formal dress, blue shirt, black trousers, black leather shoes, not any t-shirt or chappals and blue is a good color in formal shirts," he said.
"Governor, CM, CS, DGP came 5 min before from circuit house 'properly' dressed and received the PM before me. I was standing and managing for them for many hours in hot sun and was really sweating and eyes burning. I decided not to wear the coat which I had put in my car," he added.
The Chhattisgarh government had issued a notice to Kataria for wearing sunglasses while receiving Modi. The notice said that Kataria has not shown 'integrity and devotion' towards his duty by violating the protocol.
On reports that the Prime Minister had called him a 'dabang' or fearless officer, he said, "Since I am the subject of discussion, I must state the facts clearly: The PM said nothing like dabang or anything. It's purely a media creation by some local newspaper. He was very courteous and only said hello."
The 2004 batch IAS officer, according to various reports, has received appreciations for his work in a difficult region.
Chief Minister Raman Singh also congratulated the officer for arrangements after the PM's first visit to the region.
"Our CM is least bothered about such things. I have now put 11years of service and have done 3 districts, but if I am still naive and foolish, UPSC and the academy need to be blamed," the IAS officer said.