Bengaluru/New Delhi: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stayed away from a Nasscom event in Bengaluru attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as he did not get an official invite.
The chief minister did not get an invite either from Nasscom or the Prime Minister’s Office for the Indo-German summit which was followed by a working lunch at Leela Palace. Siddaramaiah, who had earlier in the day accompanied Modi and Merkel’s visit to the facility of German auto company Bosch, stayed away from the Nasscom event. Sources in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) stated that it was “protocol violation” but added that Siddaramaiah did not want the matter to be precipitated.
Sources in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms said as the event was being attended by two heads of states, a decision on who should be invited was at the discretion of the two leaders. Nasscom representatives said they have no comments on the chief minister not being invited for the function. A representative of Nasscom said the invites were sent by the PMO.
Industries Minister R V Deshpande and Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee had received invites but did not attend due to other official engagements.
Interestingly, as late as Sunday afternoon, the draft engagement for Monday of Siddaramaiah did mention that he would be attending the Nasscom event and also the working lunch.
However, it was only late in the evening that it was realised that there was no official invite for the chief minister. In the final engagement schedule, the Nasscom event was removed from the itinerary.
The summit attended by top honchos especially from the IT sector were addressed by both Modi and Merkel. The working lunch had some of the finest South Indian delicacies.
Sources in New Delhi said that there was no question of breach of protocol as the lunch prime minister hosted for German Chancellor was rather a “working business lunch” for chief executive officers of German and Indian companies, where they interacted on “opportunities and challenges for business in both countries”.
The Union Government claimed that it was not “a protocol lunch” and was rather continuation of a business meet organised by Nasscom and Fraunhofer Institute.
However, speaking to reporters in Tumakuru, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said that the PMO had breached the protocol by not inviting the chief minister for the event.