‘Missing’ Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who faced criticism for extending his stay in the US when Maoists wiped out senior Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh, returned to North Block on Thursday.
After attending the office, the Home Minister clarified that his prolonged visit was due to medical reasons as he was supposed to consult an ophthalmologist on May 28.
The official visit of Shinde and senior officials of Ministry of Home Affairs for India-US homeland security dialogue was scheduled from May 20 to 22.
Shinde said he took permission from the highest authorities for the extended stay.
After condemning Maoist attack on Congress leaders’ Parivartan Yatra, the Home Minister gave details of his US stay.
“I had led the delegation to the US at the invitation of homeland security from May 19 to 23. After that the delegation returned to Mumbai,” he told reporters.
“I had obtained previous permission to stay back from May 23 to 29 because I had an appointment with Dr Bressler who is internationally famous for treating eyes. He gave me appointment for May 28 as he was away in Malaysia till May 27,” the Home Minister said.
Shinde said there was three days holiday in US -- May 25, 26 and 27. “As soon as I consulted Dr Bressler on May 29, I returned to India,” he said.
On being asked why he did not issue any statement after the attack through internet, Shinde said there was no need to issue any statement from the US as he was in regular touch with the MHA officials.
“Those people who are interested only in statement they can consider it ‘issuing statement’,” Shinde told reporters.
The Home Minister also said that he would be visiting Chhattisgarh on Friday to review the security situation in the state.
He said that there was no problem with the government strategy and further investigation by the NIA would reveal the security lapses.