Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday said the Union home secretary's "ineffective" explanation on why she was not invited to the swearing-in ceremony of President A P J Abdul Kalam had only added "insult to the injury."
"The exclusion of a chief minister is an unforgivable lapse in protocol by the Government of India...the explanation of the secretary is unacceptable to me,"
Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
The Union home secretary on Friday had explained that invites to the ceremony were sent only to the chief ministers who had applied for them.
"I am at a loss to understand why this outmoded procedure is still adopted and sought to be employed as an excuse to cover up what is obviously an indignity to the elected chief ministers of the states," Jayalalithaa said.
The chief ministers, Jayalalithaa said, are "equal partners in a democracy" and cannot be expected to angle for invitations to solemn occasions. "Such invitations should be extended to chief ministers as a matter of right and as befits their standing," she said.
Jayalalithaa said if the extension of invitations was on the basis of requests received, it was indeed "surprising" that invitations were sent to industrialists like the Ambani brothers. "They certainly cannot be equated with the elected representatives of the people," she said.
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