Govt Officials in the Dark Over Indo-Japan Summit Status
Various departments were involved in preparations to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe for the Indo-Japan summit meeting which was scheduled to be held from 15th to 17th December, 2019 - for the very first time outside the capital city of New Delhi.
The event however got postponed because of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) protests in Guwahati. What remains a huge confusion is the status of the Indo-Japan summit.
Has it been cancelled? Shifted to some other place? Postponed to a different date? These questions are arising and the officials of different departments responsible for organizing the event are not updated about the status.
A highly placed source in the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) talking to G Plus under condition of anonymity said, “We did not receive any notification from the government regarding the status of the summit. We did not even receive any information when it was postponed,” adding that initially they only received information from the minutes of the meeting which was held in the state’s chief secretary’s office.
The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) which is responsible for maintaining the heritage DC Bungalow where the prime ministers of both the countries – India and Japan- were expected to stay now are ignorant about the facilities required in the bungalow.
The state finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, however tweeted that the summit will be organized in Guwahati only because the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is insisting that Guwahati is the best venue for the summit.
“The India-Japan summit has been postponed, but it will happen in Guwahati only. Prime Minister has decided that venue will not be shifted from Guwahati, but the date may be changed. PM is very particular that it should happen in Guwahati only,” tweeted Himanta.
The finance minister uses the social media platforms for making various statements, but many government officials do not rely on the social media for updating themselves. Therefore, they are ignorant about the status of the summit.
The Japanese PM was scheduled to arrive in the evening of 15th December where he would have been welcomed with several cultural programs.
On 16th December, the dignitaries were set to take a cruise on MV Rudrasingha on the Brahmaputra River, visit the old DC Bungalow which has now been converted into a heritage site and then proceed to Hotel Radisson Blu for the business meet between the leaders.
With Guwahati being the epicenter of the protests against the CAA, several thousand people gathered on 12th December and 13th December at Latasil Playground and Chandmari AEI field respectively, protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 becoming a law in the country.
Top sources confirmed that the unrest has deferred the visit of the dignitaries until further notice. Although there were rumors that Bhubaneswar could be an alternative venue for the event, those rumors have also been quashed.