Shillong: Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, who was scheduled to inaugurate India's first glass mosque on Thursday, has cancelled his trip due to a meeting of the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on 2G spectrum on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's advice.

Denying that Khurshid was staying away because of the allegations of corruption against him, union Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H. Pala, who is in Shillong for the programme, said Manmohan Singh had advised him to attend the EGoM meeting.

"Khurshid is not skipping his visit to Shillong because of the allegations against him from certain groups of people. The EGoM meeting is crucial and that's why the prime minister advised him to cancel his visit," Pala told.

Congress sources claimed that the prime minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi wanted Khurshid to be in the national capital because of the ongoing controversy. "They don't want him to leave station in the wake of the controversy; leaving station now could seem like running away from the problem," a Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.

India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that Khurshid and his wife Louise Fernandes, who heads a trust, had "siphoned off" funds provided by the central government for the disabled poor in Uttar Pradesh.

On Wednesday, the two again exchanged hot words. The law minister has deputed party aide Shameem Akhtar to attend the inauguration of the Madina Masjid, an imposing structure with a glass dome and glass minarets, and the central puja committee's get-together in this mountainous state capital.


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