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Amit Shah skips BSF Raising Day

Sources in the ministry said he was busy planning the government’s strategy for the farmers’ protests
Amit Shah
Amit Shah

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 02.12.20, 02:40 AM

Union home minister Amit Shah skipped the BSF Raising Day parade where he was to be the chief guest on Tuesday morning, pulling out at the last minute due to some “urgent engagement”.

Sources in the ministry said Shah was busy planning the government’s strategy for the farmers’ protests.

“The home minister decided to skip the BSF Raising Day event owing to some urgent engagement. He is said to be too busy strategising for the steps to be taken by the government over the farmers’ protests,” a ministry official said.

According to him, Shah held meetings in the morning with other cabinet ministers to chalk out the strategy for the talks with farmers’ representatives later in the day. Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar and his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal met a 35-member team of farmers at Vigyan Bhavan. The meeting started at 3pm.

Shah had on Monday tweeted that he would be the chief guest at the 56th BSF Raising Day Parade at 9am.

It is unusual for the home minister to skip an event at the last moment without citing a reason.

In his absence, Shah’s deputy Nityanand Rai officiated as the chief guest, took a ceremonial guard and reviewed the parade at the BSF camp in southwest Delhi.

Senior BSF officials said it was disappointing to learn at the eleventh hour that the home minister would not be present on the force’s big day.

The BSF, which has about 2.5 lakh personnel, was raised on December 1, 1965. It guards the 700km Line of Control with Pakistan under the army’s operational command, as well as the 2,289km border with Bangladesh. The BSF reports directly to the home minister.

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