Beijing/Luoyang, May 29 (IANS) The inability of Indian MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh to handle an electronic key to the executive floor and his room at the luxury hotel where he was staying delayed President Pratibha Patil’s flight from Beijing to Luoyang by 20 minutes Saturday.
The former minister was late in boarding the special Chinese aircraft as he missed the presidential cavalcade. The Rashtriya Janata Dal MP blamed official mismanagement for the delay, saying he had not been informed about the boarding time.
‘There was confusion and mismanagement. That is why I got delayed and couldn’t be a part of the cavalcade that was taking the president to the Beijing airport,’ Prasad said.
‘I was not informed about what time I had to board the plane and I couldn’t handle the electronic key to the lift and the room,’ the former rural development minister said.
Official sources said Singh, along with the president and the official delegation, were staying at the super-deluxe Raffles Beijing Hotel where access to restricted VIP floors was through an electronic key that the minister found difficult to handle.
President Patil was to take the flight at 9 a.m. but was delayed by 20 minutes. Since the special Chinese flight could not take off on time, other flights at the busy Beijing airport also got delayed, officials said.
The president’s office however said that the delay did not affect the overall programme and has caused no embarrassment.
‘His (Singh) delay did not affect the overall programme as the president reached Luyong at 10.30 a.m. which was the scheduled time. It has caused us no embarrassment,’ a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson told IANS.
Patil is on a six-day visit to China. The visit ends May 31.
In Luoyang, President Patil dedicated an Indian-style Buddhist temple, built with Indian financial assistance and knowhow, to the Chinese people.