Upset over Taj hotel as venue, state officials may skip 26/11 tribute
Trouble is brewing in the state as the countdown begins to US President Barrack Obama's November 6 visit.mumbai Updated: Oct 31, 2010 01:13 IST
Trouble is brewing in the state as the countdown begins to US President Barrack Obama's November 6 visit.
The state government, particularly the police force, is miffed with the US consulate for choosing luxury hotel Taj Mahal Palace as the venue for the President's tribute to Mumbai's 26/11 terror victims, instead of Police Gymkhana at Marine Lines, which features a memorial to the martyrs of the terror siege.
Many police and state officials, as a result, may not attend the function at the Taj, in protest.
The state, via the Ministry of External Affairs, had written to the US consulate twice, requesting that Police Gymkhana be fixed as the venue for the tribute. "It would have been an appropriate gesture," said a senior state official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the press. "The five-star hotel is not inclusive enough to represent the entire city — or all the victims of the attacks."
This is not the first tussle between the US consulate and the state government. Earlier, the state government requested a one-on-one meeting between Obama and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and were told the President had 28 other such requests pending.
Christine Dal Bello, public affairs officer with the US consulate, declined comment: "We are not commenting on the President's schedule beyond the itinerary decided in Washington."