A day after the festival organizers in New Delhi said that President Pranab Mukherjee would be attending the inaugural ceremony of India's biggest film festival, a senior official of the ministry of information and broadcasting dismissed it as a rumour.

"These are just rumours. The President will not be attending the inaugural ceremony," festival director Shankar Mohan told reporters. A senior police official in-charge of security for the event also said that had the president's arrival been confirmed, security-related logistical and other processes would have already started.

"We have received no intimation of the presidential arrival yet. As per protocol, we are informed at least a fortnight in advance," police official said.

According to media reports, Press Information Bureau Additional Director General KM Ravindran told reporters in Chennai on Wednesday that the President would inaugurate the 11-day festival, which is held in Goa annually since 2004.

"President (Pranab Mukherjee) will inaugurate the 11-day festival. About 160 foreign films will be showcased under various categories," media reports had said quoting Ravindran. IFFI begins in Goa from November 20.

(Agencies)

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