Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu on Monday said he has cancelled his visit to Wharton "as a mark of protest" against the cancellation of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's keynote address at the Wharton India Economic Forum.
"It was Wharton which invited him. Modi did not ask that he be invited. And if you are calling off the invite, I think it is not only an insult of the Gujarat chief minister but of the entire country," Prabhu said.
On the reason for cancelling the Wharton visit, Prabhu said, "I have been a regular speaker at colleges and universities all over the world, be it in the US, Japan, Singapore or the Middle East.
"I find this (Wharton snub to Modi) a ridiculous decision. Modi did not ask that he be invited. He is a democratically elected leader, a three-term CM. Modi is not someone who has been hoisted on somebody. He has been elected as representative of people in fairly conducted polls by the Election Commission," he said.
"The university should be a place where divergent views are debated. Such a decision, that too by a varsity in the US, is unfathomable," he said.
"Gujarat is a leading developed and industrialised state in the country. All businessmen, be it Tata, Ambani or global business leaders, are coming to Gujarat," Prabhu said.
Gautam Adani too pulls out of Wharton India Economic Forum
Adani Group on Monday said its chairman Gautam Adani has pulled out of Wharton India Economic Forum, a developement that comes close on the heels of the cancellation of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's keynote address at the annual event to be held in Philadelphia, US.
The Gujarat-based firm, however, said Adani had taken himself out of the event almost a fortnight back in an apparent reference that his absence is not related to the cancellation of Modi's address.
"Adani has conveyed his inability to join Wharton India Economic Forum long back (almost a fortnight ago) as he has other pressing commitments," an Adani Group spokesperson said.
The Wharton India Economic Forum is an annual student-run India-centric conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.