Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav,now in the US,today boycotted the Harvard lecture he was due to deliver in protest against his minister Azam Khan’s detention at the Boston airport.
The political members of the delegation from Uttar Pradesh are not attending any of Harvard events in protest,Harvard sources told PTI.
But,the state chief secretary Jawed Usmani will make a presentation on behalf of the Chief Minister,they said.
The Chief Minister and Azam Khan are leaving Boston several hours before their scheduled departure,sources said.
Yadav was invited to deliver a lecture at Harvard University in Boston this evening on the recently held Mahakumbh Mela at Allahabad.
Khan,a senior leader of the ruling Samajwadi Party in UP and also the state Urban Development minister who was accompanying Yadav,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.
Meanwhile,the Harvard South Asia Institute in a post on its website said,”Due to unforeseen circumstances,today’s ‘Harvard without Borders: Mapping the Kumbh Mela’ panel speaker will be Shri Jawed Usmani (Chief Secretary,Uttar Pradesh Government) in place of Shri Akhilesh Yadav (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh) and Shri Mohammed Azam Khan (Minister of Urban Development,Uttar Pradesh).”
“Shri Usmani will be joined by Prof Diana Eck,Prof Gregg Greenough and Prof Rahul Mehrotra. Prof Tarun Khanna will serve as moderator,” it said.