Loka Kerala Sabha event likely to be cancelled as Centre denies nod for CM’s travel

Pinarayi Vijayan. File Photo: Josekutty Panackal/ Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The regional conference of the Loka Kerala Sabha in Saudi Arabia, which was scheduled to take place on October 19 is unlikely to take place as the Central Government has refused to grant permission to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the  UAE trip. This is the third time that the Chief Minister’s foreign tour has been cancelled in the past five months. Of them, two were cancelled over the centre's denial while in the other case Chief Minister himself called off his trip.

In last May, the Chief Minister was invited to the global investment summit organised by the Abu Dhabi government. Many other Chief Ministers in India were also invited. However, the Centre denied permission for the travel, arguing that Indian administrators need not take part in an event which was aimed at attracting investments for Abu Dhabi.

In August, the Chief Minister received an invitation to visit Vietnam and made arrangements for the trip. But, since the Assembly session was convened at the time, he decided not to go ahead with the foreign tour. He also didn't approach the centre seeking permission for the same.

The Chief Minister, who visited the US in June to attend the Loka Kerala Sabha’s regional conference, returned after visiting Cuba and Dubai. This 12-day foreign trip was the CM's recent foreign trip.

It is learnt that the Chief Minister, who had sought the Centre’s permission much ahead of the regional conference in the US, did not adopt such a step in the case of the Saudi Arabia meet. The External Affairs Ministry was approached for permission only on September 9 for the conference that was scheduled for October 17. The preliminary communications with the Centre took place after the dates for the conference were fixed. It is learnt that this fact also influenced the centre's decision.


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