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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

UP team keeps low profile on London ‘study tour’, no interaction with media

Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times  London, January 16, 2014
First Published: 01:22 IST(16/1/2014) | Last Updated: 01:24 IST(16/1/2014)

A 17-member team of ministers and MLAs from Uttar Pradesh is currently in London as part of their five-country ‘study tour’, but have kept a low profile, given the controversy because of the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The team is staying in two luxury hotels of the Taj Group in the heart of Westminster. Ministers Azam Khan and Raja Bhaiya are notable members of this team.

No interaction with the London-based press has been scheduled during the team’s visit, and efforts to contact or cover the visit by television journalists have been resisted. The team, which arrived here on Monday night, is scheduled to leave for Athens on Friday.

The team is scheduled to meet Indian-origin British MPs and local government representatives on Wednesday evening at a reception hosted by high commissioner Ranjan Mathai.

A senior British legislator of Indian origin told Hindustan Times before the reception that given the context and controversy over the Muzaffarnagar riots, if he were in their place, he would not have gone on such a “costly junket at the taxpayer’s expense”, and more so because its benefits to the country were uncertain.

The team attended a lunch hosted by Alan Haselhurst, chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), on Tuesday.

An 18-member delegation of Karanatka legislators was planning to take off to three Latin American countries in January on a fortnight study tour, but it was deferred.


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