|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
UP: 'Fashion show' lands IAS officer in trouble
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | March 20, 2008 18:46 IST
A top officer of the Indian Administrative Service in Uttar Pradesh is in trouble for holding a fashion show at his official bungalow in Lucknow.
While Agriculture Production Commissioner Anis Ansari was given marching orders on Wednesday, his fashion designer wife Asma Hussein claimed that her husband had been targeted by an influential lobby.
"My husband was the next in line to become the chief secretary and I have reason to believe that this controversy has been created to keep him out of the race," Asma told rediff.com.
"I hosted a tea party on the lawns of this bungalow allotted to my husband. I fail to understand how it was misconstrued as a business promotion activity," said Asma.
Ansari was removed from the coveted job after a regional TV channel telecasted a fashion show, which was being conducted on the lawns of 4, Vikramaditya Marg, the bungalow allotted to him.
"My invitation cards also carried the title 'Victorian Tea Party' that was hosted by me in my capacity as vice president of the IAS Officers Wives Association. Even my daughters participated in the ramp show, which was a purely private affair. So where was the question of any business promotion behind it?" Asma pointed out.
A fashion designer, Asma runs a private fashion institute in Lucknow's posh Hazratganj. She has organised fashion shows earlier, but they were held in clubs, hotels or auditoriums.
While Ansari remained tight-lipped about the issue, some senior bureaucrats of the state termed the whole affair as an act of 'indiscretion' on Ansari's part. Others, however, agreed with Asma's claim that it was a private party, which could not be labeled under business promotion activities.
But members of the chief minister's secretariat were firm that the "use of official residence for commercial purpose was a violation of service conduct rules."
Asked why she had invited the media to a private party, Asma said, "I thought there was nothing wrong about media involvement since it was a Page 3 kind of affair."
Apparently, she did not realise that her party would manage to hit the headlines on page 1.