Kerala Minister says denied permission to visit China, CM writes to Modi

Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday said he has been denied the permission to visit China to participate in a UNWTO meeting by the Central government.

Subsequently, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday night wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to reconsider their earlier decision of deciding not to give sanction to Surendran to visit Chinag.

Surendran, interacting with the media after his request was rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs, said that he is shocked by the narrow-minded outlook of the Bhartiya Janata-led Party government.

“Don’t you know the way the BJP government at the Centre acts” I feel the only reason for me being denied permission to travel is nothing but political,” he said.

“I will certainly want to know the reason the permission was denied and I will write to the Prime Minister,” he said, adding that he will bring this to the attention of the Chief Minister, “whom I am sure will also write to the Prime Minister”.

He said he had applied for a diplomatic passport but the request was denied.

The UN World Tourism Organisation meeting is scheduled to be held in China from September 11 to 16.

Among the topics that will be discussed at the meet are issues concerned with responsible tourism and in this area, Kerala has done a lot of work, he said.

“What I have come to know is that my permission to travel to China was cleared at the official level and after that it got stuck,” Surendran added.

In his letter to Modi and Sushma Swaraj, Vijayan said the purpose of the visit was to learn from international experience on developing tourism in Kerala and also “an opportunity to present Kerala’s achievements to an international audience”.

“It’s unfortunate that a state delegation led by a Minister was denied permission. I request that the decision be reconsidered,” he said.

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