|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

Amid a raging caupry of CAA, PM Modi cancels Assam’s visit for the second time in a month. Indian News


GUWAHATI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi canceled on Wednesday his proposal to visit Assam for the opening of Khelo India’s 3rd Youth Games on Friday, making it the second time in less than a month that he has called a trip to the state against the backdrop of the anti-citize nship law-stiring.

The Assam Student Union (Aasu) and other organizations at the forefront of the protests had threatened to unleash the “anger of the people” in Modi if it decided to go ahead with the journey.

“The Prime Minister is not coming to open the games. The chief minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) will fly to New Delhi tomorrow and is likely to meet with him. We will discuss with state leaders whether we can extend an invitation to the Prime Minister for the closing ceremony on January 22,” said a state government official.

PMO sources said Modi’s scheduled programs in West Bengal on the same day were clashing with Assam’s invitation, which is why he had to opt for the first. An alternative plan was for him to open the sporting event via videoconference, but that didn’t work either, the sources said.

Avinash Joshi, executive director of the Khelo India Youth Games, decided to keep it open, saying there was “no confirmation from the PMO so far in the invitation to the Prime Minister.” BJP state spokesman Dewan Dhruba Jyoti Maral gave a similar statement.

A GDP statement issued at night said Sonowal and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju would attend the inauguration along with a number of star athletes.

Modi was to have hosted his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at a bilateral summit in Guwahati on 15 and 16 December, but the violent start of the anti-CAA turmoil forced the Center to “postpone” the meeting to an even lyctude date.

Sources said what caused the PMO to decide not to accept The invitation to the Khelo India event was the protests inside Barsapara Stadium during Sunday’s T20 India-Sri Lanka match. Some spectators had booed Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

On Tuesday, Aasu Samujjal’s adviser Bhattacharjee said in Delhi that people were happy about the games being held in Guwahati, but had different feelings for Modi.

“While we will do nothing to annoy Khelo India, we will hold peaceful protests if the prime minister visits Assam during the games,” he said.

Times of India