PM unlikely for Games closing ceremony

HYDERABAD Oct. 28. The Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, is unlikely to participate in the closing ceremony of the Afro-Asian Games here on November 1. The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, had formally invited the President, A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, and Mr. Vajpayee to witness the grand spectacle and keen that both of them should accept it. However, the Prime Minister' s office is reported to have conveyed to the State Government his inability to attend the function. A formal letter from the PMO communicating the decision will follow.

Dr. Kalam, who has accepted Mr. Naidu's invitation, will be the guest of honour at the function. His itinerary was finalised at a meeting convened by the Chief Secretary, Mohan Kanda, on Tuesday with senior police and protocol officials. The President will arrive here from New Delhi at 4.40 p.m. on November 1 and reach the GMC Balayogi stadium at 5.05 p.m. After witnessing the closing ceremony, Dr. Kalam will depart by road at 7.10 p.m. for the venue of his night halt in the City. He will leave for New Delhi at 10.50 a.m. on November 2.

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