Mukherjee phones Advani, promises to probe matter of his seating in Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi, Aug.16 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday is reported to have placed a phone call to senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.Advani and informed him that he would look into the matter of his seating during functions held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Mukherjee is said to have offered an apology to Advani after the BJP said that it was upset over its senior leaders not being shown basic courtesy at government functions.
According to a television channel report, a section of the BJP is reported to be considering launching a formal complaint on the issue.
In the latest faux pax, at a reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan after the PM's speech on Independence Day, senior BJP leaders, including Advani and Sushma Swaraj were made to stand in an enclosure with diplomats and other invitees.
However, Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seated next to President Pranab Mukherjee and the Prime Minister.
At the swearing-in of Hamid Ansari as Vice-President earlier this month, Advani was seated in the fourth row. After his party allegedly complained, Mr Advani was moved to the first row along with the Prime Minister and Mrs Gandhi.
Rashtrapati Bhavan officials say that at the reception yesterday, protocol was followed and that leaders of the opposition were accommodated in a special area along with cabinet ministers. They say President Mukherjee made it a point to welcome and greet them personally.
They said the seating chart that was used followed the patterns set in the last few years.
"The President's office is keen that such incidents of unhappiness do not happen in future," Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said. (ANI)
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