President Pranab Mukherjee has cut short his scheduled visit to Bihar by a day, possibly because it was clashing with a rally of Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Patna.
Mukherjee mentioned his revised schedule to BJP Members of Parliament from Bihar Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Shahnawaz Hussain, who met him today.
"The President told us that he will visit Bihar on October 26 to attend a convocation but will return to Delhi the same day," Hussain said.
Modi will address the BJP's 'hunkar' rally in Patna on October 27. The clash between the President's visit and Modi's rally had become an issue between the BJP and its former ally Janata Dal - United.
The BJP had alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had deliberately invited the President on October 27 to scuttle the rally.
"BJP leaders will be there in Patna on October 26 to welcome President Pranab Mukherjee. It is an honour for Bihar to welcome the President on one day and the future prime minister of India the next day," Rudy said.
BJP's Bihar unit had accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of misleading the people about finalising the date of the presidential visit to Bihar.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had said that the party had finalised the date of the rally on March 20 and Kumar was fully aware of it.
He had alleged that the chief minister was duty-bound to apprise the President of the scheduled political event during his visit.