Bhujbal to attend Taj programme; will gift book to Obama

Last Updated: Saturday, November 6, 2010 - 13:00

Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister
Chhagan Bhujbal, who was miffed after his personal details
were sought by the US Consulate here for attending programmes
during Barack Obama`s visit, will attend the President`s event
scheduled at the Taj Hotel this afternoon.

The US President will be delivering a speech against
terrorism at the iconic hotel in commemoration of the 26/11
attacks and pay his respects to the victims and sign the hotel
guest book.

"Bhujbal would be gifting a book titled `Slavery` by
Mahatma (Jyotiba) Phule to the President at the Taj function,"
an official from the Deputy Chief Minister`s office said.

However, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan may not
attend the event.

"The Chief Minister would be receiving the US President
on his arrival at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

So it is difficult for him to reach the Taj immediately," an
official from the Chief Minister`s Office said.

Chavan has not yet confirmed about his participation in
the Taj programme, the official said.

Obama will arrive at the city airport at 12.50 pm from
where he will head to the Taj hotel by a chopper. Other
officials accompanying the President would be travelling by
road, he said.

Additional Chief Secretary of Home Department Chandra
Iyengar, Maharashtra Director General of Police D Sivanandan
and city Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal would also not
attend the Taj function as they would be busy handling
security, the official added.

Senior ministers and bureaucrats in Maharashtra were
upset after personal details were sought from them by the US
Consulate for attending programmes during Obama`s visit.

"In the invitation to me, to the Chief Minister, Home
Secretary and others, a form is attached in which they have
asked for PAN number, photo, passport number and other
details...The host is asking for details from a guest he is
inviting. If he doesn`t know who this guest is, then why is he
inviting," Bhujbal had said yesterday.

The US Consulate had apologised and described it as a
"clerical error".

PTI



First Published: Saturday, November 6, 2010 - 13:00

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