After the frequent foreign trips of former president Pratibha Patil and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar made news, President Pranab Mukherjee and Kumar appear to have gone into a ‘go slow’ mode in travelling abroad.
Mukherjee, who replaced Patil as President in July, has no plans to go abroad till at least January 2013. Kumar, who has not gone on a single bilateral visit since March, too has no tour plans for the rest of the year.
Sources in their offices told Hindustan Times many invitations for foreign travels were pending before both the President and the Lok Sabha Speaker.
During her tenure as President, Patil spent Rs. 205 crore of public money on 12 state visits to 22 countries. The president’s office said such visits were necessary.
A Right to Information query revealed that in her first three years in office, Kumar made 29 foreign trips, which too were defended by her office.