Indo-Japan Summit Deferred amidst CAB uproar in Guwahati
Heavy preparations had been initiated in Guwahati to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe for the Indo-Japan summit meeting, scheduled to be held from 15th to 17th December, 2019 - for the very first time outside the capital city of New Delhi.
However, sources in the Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) have said that the summit has been deferred until further notice.
Laying down the red carpet
Heavy preparations were put in place for the arrival of the dignitaries. The city saw overnight beautification where walls and dividers were painted, statues refurbished, riverfront developed and all of that at a tremendous pace.
The Public Works Department (PWD) left no stone unturned in expediting the development of the riverfront. The riverside facing buildings were painted, several properties have been refurbished and paver blocks have been used to make the river front accessible.
Sources at the ATDC said that there were 36 welcome gates installed for the dignitaries. They had also planned to install several hoardings across the city. The highlight would have been an indigenous village set up at Pomonakha, the river island on Brahmaputra. This design would have incorporated elements from both Japanese and Indian culture. The theme of the village would have been “exploring characteristics of Japanese heritage.”
Starting from the airport, the city would have been decorated with several pole flags, feather flags, standees and unipoles at strategic locations. The statue of Lachit Borphukan on the Brahmaputra River was refurbished by prominent sculptor, Biren Sinha.
The Japanese PM was scheduled to arrive in the evening on 15th December where he would have been welcomed with several cultural programs. Arrangements were made for his stay Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati. His Indian counterpart would have stayed at Hotel Radisson Blu.
On 16th December, the dignitaries were set to take a cruise on MV Rudrasingha on the Brahmaputra, visit the old DC Bungalow which has now been converted to a heritage site and then proceed to Hotel Radisson Blu for the business meet between the leaders.
CAB row defers the arrival of dignitaries
With Guwahati being the epicentre for the protests, 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 rumours that Bhubaneswar could be an alternative venue for the event, those rumours have also been quashed.