Call it destiny, or sheer coincidence, the BJP’s Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind was denied entry to the President’s Shimla summer holiday resort barely three weeks back. The Retreat is located amid Shimla’s protected green belt,14 km from the town. President Pranab Mukherjee has been a regular visitor every summer except this time when he cancelled his tour owing to the Presidential polls.
Kovind, who is the Bihar Governor, was in town as guest of Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat between May 28 to 30 alongwith his family members — wife and children. He was staying at the Raj Bhawan.
Sources in the Raj Bhawan said that on May 29, he went to see Shimla’s famous catchment area forest — Siyog.
While returning from the forest, Kovind chose to visit The Retreat, about 5 km away, alongwith his family but was denied entry by the staff posted there. Permission is granted only by the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
As Kovind had not obtained permission from the Rashtrapati Bhawan, he was refused entrance.
Shashi Kant Sharma, advisor to Himachal Governor, said Kovind “did not mind” being denied entry.
“Had he told us,we could have facilitated the visit,” Sharma added.