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Kerala tourism minister denied permission to attend conclave in China

The minister said no reason was cited for denying permission to attend the WTO meet and that he will send a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi decrying the decision taken by the ministry of external affairs.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2017 09:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram, Hindustan Times
India-China,Indo-China ties,Doklam standoff
An Indian national flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting Indian officials in Beijing. (AP file)

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has denied permission to Kerala tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran to visit China to attend a global tourism event, leaving the Left Front government red-faced.

The minister said he had sought permission to visit China two months ago to attend the UN world tourism organisation’s (WTO) meet but he was told by the MEA at the eleventh hour that there was no need for him to visit the neighbouring country.

The tourism meet is scheduled from September 11 to 16.

The minister said no reason was cited for denial of permission and that he will send a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi decrying the MEA’s decision.

“It seems like a political decision. I have not been given any reason,” the minister said.

He said he was the lone minister attending the function and had received the invitation in the first week of June. Surendran said he applied for permission well in advance and followed all the protocols.

However, the MEA said Surendran was denied permission after studying various aspects of the plan.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Twitter said he had written to the prime minister asking him to reconsider the decision and issue political clearance for Surendran’s travel to China.

The latest controversy comes a week after India successfully resolved its 73-day-long standoff with China over Doklam.

Following this, the prime minister visited the neighbouring country to attend the BRICS summit on September 5.

First Published: Sep 09, 2017 09:20 IST