New Delhi, Aug 21: Uttarakhand Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj and urban development minister Madan Kaushik fought over choosing a venue to keep former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ashes before the immersion in Harki Pauri.
Maharaj had recommended his Prem Nagar ashram as the venue, while Kaushik insisted that the ashes should be kept at Gayatri Teerth Shantikunj.
Shantikunj head Dr Pranav Pandya is considered as a close aide of Kaushik and Chief minister TS Rawat on Saturday announced it as the venue.
Citing BJP insiders, Hindustan Times reported that the Maharaj faction conveyed its displeasure to party Uttarakhand in-charge Shyam Jaju and the CMO.
Following this, at midnight, the information department issued a press release, stating City Sports Stadium will be the venue, where Vajpayee’s ashes will be kept.
“The change of venue at the last moment was not apt, when several functions, be it religious, spiritual, social or political, are held at Prem Nagar ashram,” Maharaj asserted.
“Kaushik arrived last evening at my ashram. We both held talks but I can’t divulge more as other senior party leaders were also there,” he added.