Puducherry: As Rahul Gandhi toured flood-hit Puducherry on Tuesday, the man who held a pair of slippers for him to wear was V Narayanasamy, Congress lawmaker and once a union minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office.
The former minister was seen in a video holding the slippers while the Congress vice president removed his shoes to walk in a flooded area, and then placing them for him to slip into. Mr Gandhi was seen putting them on without much fuss.
Mr Narayanasamy, who is the parliamentarian representing Puducherry, shrugged it off saying he had only offered his own slippers to Rahul Gandhi.
"As a courtesy I offered my chappals as Mr Rahul Gandhi removed his shoes to walk barefoot in the water," said the 68-year-old Congress veteran.
Dismissing references to the much-criticised culture of sycophancy in the country's oldest political party, Mr Narayanasamy said: "We don't have such a culture in the Congress. Rahul carried his shoes throughout and he didn't even let his security personnel carry them for him."
Mr Narayanasamy was minister of state with the Prime Minister's Office in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government which lost power last year.
Besides Puducherry, Rahul Gandhi also visited Chennai, which is struggling in the aftermath of massive flooding after record rainfall last week.