No regrets about not meeting Mayawati, says US envoy


Lucknow: US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer Wednesday said he had no regrets about not being able to meet Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, who told the diplomat she was preoccupied with pre-fixed political engagements, but he found state Governor B.L. Joshi impressive.

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“President Barrack Obama has particularly instructed me to meet the common Indians, which I managed to do in this famous and beautiful city of Lucknow. My purpose is not to meet a particular individual or politician,” Roemer told reporters shortly before his departure from here.

Roemer, who was on a two-day visit to the state capital, returned to New Delhi Wednesday afternoon.

The US embassy had sought an appointment with Mayawati but was told by the chief minister’s personal secretariat that she was tied down with a series of prior political engagements.

Later, at one of these functions she was given another garland of currency notes, for which she has been under fire.

Roemer said he has met the chief ministers of other Indian states he visited.

“I have already visited four states, where I had good interaction with the chief ministers and here in Uttar Pradesh I was really impressed by the state governor (B.L. Joshi) who displayed tremendous knowledge about the state’s education, health and other vital issues.”

“But wherever I go, I make it a point to halt by the roadside and try to engage myself in brief conversations with the people on the streets. And that is what gives me the real feel of the Indian people,” he said.