Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday cancelled his address at Harvard University in the US on the Kumbh Mela.
His move came in the wake of the frisking and questioning of senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan at the Logan International Airport in Boston on Thursday.
“Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, minister for urban development Mohammad Azam Khan and minister of state for science and technology Abhishek Mishra stayed away from the university’s programme,” said Khan’s spokesman Shabahat Khan over the phone from Rampur.
Yadav was to be the keynote speaker and Khan on the panel for the discussion on ‘Harvard without borders: Mapping the Kumbh Mela’. The programme, organised by Harvard’s South Asia Institute, was scheduled to start at 11pm IST on Friday.
As a last-minute resort, it was announced that the UP chief secretary would speak at the event. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the panel speaker will be Shri Javed Usmani,” said a post on the institute’s website.
Khan’s spokesman said the minister had described the frisking an insult to the people of India. He said a protest march was organised in Rampur on Friday and another would be held on Saturday, he said.