Slighted Chidambaram Calls off Karnataka Visit

Miffed over the unavailability of Karantaka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday called off a visit to the state, where the two leaders were to meet to undertake a review of the security situation in the state on Saturday, said a statement issued by the Union Home Ministry, in New Delhi.

Chidambaram attributed the change in plans to a communication, from the State government, which informed him of Yeddyurappa’s unavailability.

His visit, a part of a general review of security situation and security preparedness in every State, was initially scheduled for March 4 after consultations with the Karnataka government.

Yeddyurappa was to attend the meeting along with several top bureaucrats from the state, however, the tour and meeting were cancelled after the state government informed the home ministry that the schedule was not convenient for the chief minister.

The state government was then asked to suggest a suitable date and it marked March 5 as an ideal day for the engagement, the renewed schedule was accepted by the Home Minister.

On March 3, with barely 48 hours to go for the scheduled review meeting, the state government yet again informed the home ministry that the roster was not convenient to the chief minister.

Subsequently, the Home Minister again requested the state government to suggest an alternate schedule for the meeting.

According to the statement, the Karnataka state government then suggested March 7 as a suitable date for the review meeting, the meeting was scheduled to be held in Bangalore between 0815 hours and 1015 hours.

Accordingly, the Home Minister’s tour programme was prepared and communicated to the state government, accordingly and conveyed to the Karnataka government,” the statement said. But just as Chidambaram was about to leave Mumbai for Bangalore a message from the state government informed the Home Ministry that Yeddyurappa would not be able to attend the meeting as he intended to visit his constituency.

Slighted by the repeated cancellations the Home Minister then cancelled the proposed trip to the state and released a statement “for the information of the public, especially the people of Karnataka.”

Reacting to the development, Karnataka home minister, VS Acharya, said that Chidambaram was politicizing the issue.
“I am here, I am his counterpart in Karnataka. I am ready to meet him. The meetings were postponed on Chidambaram’s insistence. He is unnecessarily making this a political issue,”  Acharya was quoted as saying.

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