Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has cancelled a reception to be hosted in his honour by the Indian Consul General in New York on Saturday, even as the Mission said it would strongly take up with the U.S. authorities the issue of his Minister Azam Khan’s detention at the Boston airport.
A communiqué from the Indian Consulate in New York merely stated, “that due to unavoidable circumstances, the reception scheduled to be held in honour of Akhilesh Kumar Yadav, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on April 27 at the Consulate General of India, New York, has been cancelled.”
Neither, Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay, who took charge on Wednesday after his assignment as Ambassador of Maldives, nor Minister (Press and Information) M. Rajaram were available for any comments to the media on the reason for cancellation of the reception.
This was to be the first official function of the Consulate after Mr. Mulay took charge.
Mr. Yadav, on Friday, had also boycotted the Harvard lecture he was due to deliver in protest against Mr. Khan’s detention.
Invitation to the reception were sent out to all the prominent Indian-Americans, community leaders, elected officials, friends of India in New York and the media two days ago after the Consulate got the confirmation from the office of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mulay told PTI, on Friday night, on the sidelines of a community reception in his honour at the Asia Society in New York that it was unfortunate that a State government minister was treated with disrespect on arrival at Boston Logan International Airport.
He said that his Mission, under whom Boston Logan International Airport falls, would raise the matter at the appropriate level to prevent its recurrence in the future.
Refusing to comment on the cancellation of a reception accorded to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at the Consulate General of India in New York, he said his Mission would lodge its strongest protest with the State Department and the Homeland Security on the question of disrespect to the Minister as per the guidance of the Government of India.
“I am meeting the Chief Minister who has come to New York on Friday night to get first hand information from him and devise a strategy,” he said.
The Chief Minister is scheduled to leave for India from New York’s JFK Airport on Sunday, while Azam Khan was scheduled to leave today.
Mr. Khan, a senior leader of the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and also the State Urban Development Minister was accompanying Mr. Yadav on the U.S. trip.
Mr. Khan was detained for about 10 minutes at the Boston Logan International Airport for “further questioning” on Wednesday after he landed in a scheduled British Airways flight from India.