On June 23, Sangma, Minister of State for Rural Development, sent her written acceptance to Greenpeace’s invitation to board its ship, Arctic Sunrise, currently stationed near Greenland, and witness “glacial meltdown” between August 20-26. Last week, however, she withdrew her acceptance after the PMO advised against it.
When contacted, Sangma said she accepted the invitation because she was “not aware of the technicalities involved.”
“There has been no precedent of a minister associating himself in such a function. The PMO showed reluctance and I went by its advice,” she told The Indian Express. Sangma said Greenpeace wanted her to speak on these issues on her return.
Confirming that this was the first time a Minister would have participated in its programmes, Greenpeace India’s director Samit Aich said: “The PMO has lost an opportunity to spread awareness.”
New Delhi: Greenpeace India, an inveterate critic of the government on a range of issues from GM food to Orissa’s turtles, turned to the UPA’s youngest Minister Agatha Sangma for its latest photo-op — but will now have to stage it without her.
First Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 09:37