New Delhi, Oct 12 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today clarified that she had to skip the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit-2007 because the organisers effected a last-minute change in the topic of her speech as well as the format of the programme.
The organisers had earlier scheduled her speech on the theme 'India That Can Be' and subsequent discussions with moderator on ''Nation-building: The Regional Way Forward'', a statement from her office said.
''But when the printed programme was received on October 11, it was noted that the topic of her speech had been changed to ''Are Northern States Dragging India Behind?'' pointed out the official note.
''The format of her presentation was also changed to interview-type,'' it said.
According to the statement, Ms Mayawati was, in fact, looking forward to share her views and a healthy interaction on nation-building with a distinguished audience, but regrettably had to call off her participation.
The Chief Minister felt it was inappropriate on the part of the organisers to have changed the topic of the speech on the eve of the programme without properly informing her.
Also, the format of the programme was changed at the last minute without consulting her.
''It was also odd that a national leader who is also the Chief Minister of the largest (most populous) state of northern India should be expected to speak on a topic which impliedly denigrated a particular region of the country,'' said the statement.