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Agnihotri meets Vajpayee, quits

May 15, 2004 18:36 IST

India's ambassador-at-large in the US  Bhishma Kumar Agnihotri has decided to resign following the defeat of the BJP-led government.

Agnihotri, who was en-route to Mauritius on an official visit, met outgoing Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi today and conveyed his decision to resign, said sources in the Prime Minister's Office. He would send in his formal resignation once he reached his headquarters in New York, the sources said.  

The appointment of Agnihotri---who migrated to the US over 30 years ago and is a key figure in the Overseas Friends of BJP--- as ambassador-at-large for NRIs and people of Indian origin in August 2001 had sparked off resentment in the foreign office and the Indian embassy in Washington.

It is a bad decision. It will create protocol and disciplinary problems. Institutionally it corrodes the coherence of the system," former foreign secretary J N Dixit had said at the time.  

You appoint a man with party affiliation and you create divisions within the Indian community," said another former diplomat who has served in the US. "It will polarise the community."


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