Sibal apologises to Anand on citizenship confusion

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Kapil Sibal
New Delhi, Aug 24: With his ministry's name being dragging into the citizenship controversy revolving around Viswanathan Anand, Human Resource Department (HRD) Minister, Kapil Sibal quickly rushed into damage control and apologised to the world chess champion.

"We are sorry for what had transpired, we wish to award him the honorary degree on Tuesday itself but since Anand showed his inability to attend the event on Tuesday so it won't be possible to give him the degree," Sibal is quoted as saying in media reports.

Due to the confusion over Anand's nationality that stems from the fact that he holds an Indian passport but lives in Spain, the University of Hyderabad had to delay the function to confer the honorary degree on the grandmaster, which was scheduled for Monday, Aug 23.

In the wake of the row, Anand has decided to decline the honour. However, it is learnt that Mr Sibal has already spoken to him urging him to accept the award.

Making a statement on Tuesday, Aug 24, the HRD minister said, "There is no issue on the matter as Anand has agreed to accept the degree at a convenient time depending on his availability."

"There were some delays in the procedure but we have taken action on the spot and have not let the matter be delayed even for a minute," Sibal added.

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