Narendra Modi as speaker: Why controversy erupts in Wharton

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Narendra Modi
Bangalore, March 2: A new controversy erupted over Narendra Modi's presence at the prestigious Wharton India Economic Forum which is scheduled to be held on March 23.

According to NDTV, the students' body and the management of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are reconsidering their decision and may drop the Gujarat Chief Minister's name from the lists of the speakers.

However, the website of the forum is still holding Modi's name as one of the speakers. Other invited guest speakers are - Union Minister of State for IT and Communications Milind Deora, chairman of the Adani Group Gautam Adani, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, actress Shabana Azmi and poet and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar.

According to Firstpost, the management of the school is apprehensive of having Modi as one of the key speakers. As per schedule, Modi will address the meet through video conference.

Media reports suggest that Modi's alleged involvement in infamous Godhra riots 2002 made the organisers to give it a second thought about his presence in the meet as a speaker.

Earlier guest speakers such as former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, BJP leader Varun Gandhi and industrialist Anil Ambani had attended the same meet in previous years.

Hosted by the Wharton School, Wharton India Economic Forum is an annual student-run India-centric conference. The students' body usually choose the guest speakers. Earlier it was reported that they had selected Modi citing the growth stories of Gujarat. However, this year the management has intervened in their decision for the very first time.

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