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At Surajkund Chintan Shivir, Amit Shah snubs Anil Vij: ‘Not a place to make long speeches’

Anil Vij was scheduled to deliver a welcome address, followed by an address by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the keynote speech by Shah.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses during 'Chintan Shivir' of home ministers of all states, at Surajkund in Faridabad, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (PTI Photo via MHA)

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Thursday found himself in a rather unpleasant situation when Union Home Minister Amit Shah interrupted him four times during his speech and eventually forced him to cut it short during an event organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) at Surajkund in Haryana.

A two-day chintan shivir (brainstorming session) on internal security organised by the MHA kicked off at Surajkund in Faridabad on Thursday. The Chief Ministers of 10 states and Home Ministers or top police officials of all states participated in the event, which will discuss matters of law and order and national security under the chairmanship of Shah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the event on Friday.

Vij was scheduled to deliver a welcome address, followed by an address by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the keynote speech by Shah.

However, as the session kicked off and Vij began speaking, he almost appeared to be making an election speech. Vij began with expressing gratitude to Shah for sparing time for the event, which had incidentally been conceptualised by Shah and organised by MHA.

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He then spoke at length about the glorious history of Haryana, its contribution during the Green Revolution, the performance of its men and women during the Olympics, the infrastructure for sports being built by the state government and how the minister himself holds darbar every week to listen to problems of the common man. Issues of internal security — through statements such as how erring police officials are reprimanded and punished — appeared incidental to the speech.

Participants of the chintan shivir greet Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the event in Surajkund, Haryana, on Thursday. (PTI)

Shah, who was seated three chairs ahead of him on a horse-shoe table, listened intently but also looked visibly uncomfortable as the speech went on and on and the minister seemed to have lost track of time. Shah then sent a chit to the minister, asking him to cut short his speech.

Vij, however, seemed to have not paid much heed to it and continued speaking for another minute. At this, Shah switched on his mic and tapped it, signalling Vij to wrap up. Vij still did not seem to have got the message.

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Shah then took the mic and spoke: “Anil ji, you were allotted five minutes. You have already spoken for eight and a half minutes. Please finish your speech. This is not a place to make such long speeches. Keep it brief.”

At this, Vij requested Shah to give him a few seconds to wrap up as he had to make one more point. While Shah relented, Vij again launched into a long-drawn list of achievements. A visibly upset Shah now took the mic and spoke sternly: “Anil ji, kripaya smapt karein. Aise nahi chal payega. Khatam karein (Anil ji, please finish it. Things can’t run like this. Finish it).”

Vij, now trying to wrap up, tried to make some concluding remarks, when Shah interrupted and said: “Ho gaya. Karyakram aage badhaya jaaye. (It’s over. Let the programme move forward.)”

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Vij’s voice began petering out and the compere of the event took over, inviting the next speaker, Khattar. Given how delicate the situation had turned, Khattar, who had been allotted five minutes to speak, wrapped up in three minutes, touching upon issues of security and law and order in the state. Shah clapped and took over the podium.

First published on: 27-10-2022 at 19:58 IST
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