Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s nominee for the post of the ITDC chairman, MoS for Tourism Sultan Ahmed, has not been attending official functions of the ministry, apparently to register his protest against the appointment of Shankersinh Vaghela to the post.
The TMC minister, who had felt slighted at the decision, had written a letter to the Prime Minister complaining against the appointment. However, he is yet to get any response from the PM in this regard. This has made the TMC minister all the more aggrieved.
“I had conveyed my grievance to the PM, but I am yet to get any response from him,” Ahmed told Express. He rarely comes to his office these days and has skipped all official functions ever since the appointment early last month.
The ministry had organised two functions last month -- the first-ever meeting of the reconstituted National Tourism Advisory Council and the inauguration of Clean India Campaign at Qutab Minar. Ahmed’s name had figured prominently on the invitation cards and banners, but he did not turn up for both. Interestingly, Vaghela -- the reason behind the minister’s sulking -- was present in both the functions.
According to an official with the ministry, Ahmed is left with no job since Vaghela took over the ITDC.
“Till now the ITDC was solely under the MoS. But now not a single file with regard to the ITDC comes to him. Naturally, the minister must have felt slighted under two Cabinet rank ministers,” said the official.
When asked about this, Ahmed said a decision in this regard would be taken at the party level.
“Our party leadership will be meeting soon to discuss the future steps,” he said.
An official with Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai’s office said: “The minister (Ahmed) should have understood that appointment of Vaghela is a political decision. It also has got to do with Gujarat elections and also with Congress-TMC politics. The PM is helpless in these matters.”