Maharashtra CM Chavan may boycott Obama
Posted on: 10:09 AM IST Nov 05, 2010
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his deputy Chhagan Bhujbal may boycott US President Barack Obama during his Mumbai visit as they are reportedly miffed by the US consulate demanding personal details like date of birth, nationality, passport number and even PAN details.
Senior state government official say the Chavan and Bhujbal were upset as the US Consul General Paul Folmsbee asked the Chief Minister and his deputy to produce their identity cards before entering the venue.
Bhujbal told CNN-IBN that US officials had apologised to them but the final decision to attend Obama function would be taken after consulting Chavan.
"How can we be asked such minute details? US officials have already apologised. The decision to attend Obama function will be taken later today. We will take a decision after speaking to the Chief Minister," said Bhujbal.
The US Consul General called the demand for identity cards and other details a "clerical error".
"I have visited the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister(of Maharashtra) and personally apologised to them. It was a clerical error," said the US Consul General.
Many top Maharashtra politicians and bureaucrats may also skip the high profile meet for the same reason. Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil and Home Secretary have already declined to attend an event graced by President Obama.
Obama is likely to reach Mumbai around noon on November 6 and will stay at the Taj Hotel, one of the sites of the deadly terror attacks carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists in November 2008. The US President will pay homage to victims of the 26/11 terror attacks.
He will then visit the Gandhi Museum at Mani Bhawan to honour the memory of the father of the nation. Gandhi, according to Obama, has inspired Americans and African Americans, including civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King.
On November 7, the US President will visit the Holy Name School in Colaba and participate in Diwali celebrations with the students. He is also scheduled to attend an Agricultural Exposition and the Open Government and Technology Exposition and also interact with university students at St. Xavier's college, before leaving for Delhi in the afternoon.