New Delhi, Oct 22(ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today said that media reports over Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's absence to receive Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Teen Bigha were based on incomplete facts.
Chidambaram was to be present at Teen Bigha to receive Hasina, who was visiting Bangladeshi enclaves of Angarpota and Dahagram.
"Home Minister P. Chidambaram was indeed due to receive PM Sheikh Hasina (PMSH) on her arrival at Teen Bigha, on behalf of the Government of India. On the eve of the event, his 91-year-old mother suffered a fall and fractured her hip for which surgery was scheduled the next morning (October 19). Due to the family emergency Home Minister had to rush to Chennai, to be by her side," MEA official spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in a statement.
"Prime Minister, who was in Pretoria, desired that Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who has had a long association with Bangladesh, should receive PMSH, which he did. The reports in question are therefore based on incomplete facts and fail to mask a certain bias," he added.
Prakash further said that India has the highest regard and affection for the Bangladeshi Prime Minister and the people of Bangladesh, and considers it an honour that she decided to pay a personal visit to Bangladesh territory in Angarpota and Dahagram through the Teen Bigha Corridor.
"PMSH was most gracious in her appreciation of India's gesture to make available round the clock access to Dahagram and Angarpota, so soon after the landmark visit of the Prime Minister of India to Dhaka in September," the statement added.
He further said that the West Bengal government was kept fully advised about the programme of Hasina's visit.
"The Ministry of Home Affairs had also been in touch with concerned authorities in the Government of West Bengal," the statement added.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also reportedly scheduled to receive Hasina. (ANI)