Already at loggerheads with the state government, transport minister GS Bali on Monday saw red again, this time over the seating arrangement made by Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday celebrations in McLeodganj.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh was the chief guest at the function.
Bali, who arrived a bit later than the other ministers, after seeing his cabinet colleagues already occupying all seats on the dais, returned terming it a 'breach of protocol'.
Irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes, forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, agriculture minister Sujan Singh Pathania, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma and chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Jagjeevan Pal were seated on the dais, while chief minister Virbhadra Singh and the Dalai Lama were in the Tsuglagkhang temple to offer prayers.
Sensing the awkward situation arising due to a senior minister leaving the venue, the Tibetan government-in-exile's kalon (minister) for home department Dolma Gyari ran after Bali barefoot with Kangra district administrative officials in tow.
After much persuasion, Bali agreed to rejoin the programme after an immediate arrangement was made for him on the dais.
As Bali returned to join the function, the over 3,000-strong crowd, who by now had anticipated the situation, gave a loud cheer and a round of applause to the minister, as Gyari made a winning gesture on bringing back a smile on his face.