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PM cancels Kolkata visit

The scheduled visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the city on Wednesday has been called off.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | January 21, 2009 3:04:57 am

The scheduled visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the city on Wednesday has been called off.

A message from the Prime Minister’s office sent to Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti said: “The scheduled tour of the PM stands postponed.” Personal reasons are cited to be the cause for the cancellation.

Singh was supposed to attend two functions — one at St Xavier’s College which is celebrating 150 years and the other at Asiatic Society which is celebrating 225 years of existence — on his visit to the city.

The cancellation of the Prime Minister’s visit just a day before the trip sparked off several speculations in the government and political circles. Even though some people think security reasons were behind the cancellation as the PM had been advised not to leave Delhi before the Republic Day,some said it was purely personal reasons which made Singh drop his plans.

Both Chakrabarti and Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said they were not aware of the reasons behind the cancellation.

“We just got a message that he is not coming. We don’t know anything more than that,” Chakrabarti said at the Writers’ Buildings.

The St Xavier’s College and the Asiatic Society will,meanwhile,carry on with their functions. “Yesterday we received a call from the PMO saying that the PM was not coming. However,we will carry on with our 150 year celebrations,” Father George Ponodath,Rector,St Xavier’s College,told The Indian Express.

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