At least 18 Indian states will participate in Hannover Messe 2015, the world’s largest industrial trade fair, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate jointly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A government source told The Sunday Express that the PM was keen that the states take part in the fair, and 18 of them had confirmed that they would be present at the pavilion.
The five-day fair begins on April 13 after the opening ceremony the previous evening.
“The commerce secretary had written to all state chief secretaries that India being a partner nation, states should showcase their states at the pavilion,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.
The official said that preparations for the event had been on for nearly three months, and that the Prime Minister had been taking a keen interest.
“While many states wanted to be present with their representatives on Sunday when the PM will jointly inaugurate the fair, only four have been allowed to come in before the 13th,” he said. The rest, the source said, would come in on Monday or later.
Sources in Hannover said some states were upset that they would be largely on their own while being part of the event. There is no consulate in Hannover, and the Indian embassy in Germany has a limited number of officials.
“Some states have complained that while they have been pushed to participate by the central government, the Indian embassy in Germany has told them that they won’t be provided with protocol. There is no one to receive the ministers from the states. In such situations, officials from Indian embassies in nearby countries are usually called in, but this time the central government has declined to provide any protocol,” the source said.
Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra will attend the fair, besides several ministers and secretaries from the states and the Centre.
Heads of several leading Indian companies will be present, Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry and Vishal Sikka of Infosys among them.
(This correspondent is in Hannover on the invitation of the Volkswagen Group.)