The historic group photograph to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Parliament will not feature one of the seniormost parliamentarians and finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the leader of the Lok Sabha.
Mukherjee missed the photo opportunity on the Parliament lawns Tuesday morning morning apparently due to a communication gap.
The finance minister's office apparently had not seen the advisory put out in the Lok Sabha Bulletin for the past several days.
Special invitations are sent only to the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister. All other MPs have to rely on the Parliament bulletin issued every day. Mukherjee is understood to be upset at the goof-up.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Speaker Meira Kumar, leaders of the opposition in both Houses — Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley — UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were all there but Mukherjee was conspicuous by his absence. Some ministers also missed the opportunity. Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal realised that Mukherjee was absent but there was little he could do as the President had already arrived.
“Lok Sabha secretariat and Rajya Sabha secretariat give information through their bulletin. I see the bulletins regularly and this (the group photograph session) has come several times. I cannot say anything more than that,” Bansal said.