Kochi (VSK). Government of India maintains, bureaucrats can, but, the chief minister and the ministers do not have to go to UAE for the ‘investment meet.’ Consequently, CM Pinarayi Vijayan and the ministers are reported to have cancelled their UAE itinerary.
There are reports, GOI does not consider a foreign government’s direct invitation to a state government as a right procedure. That could be one of the reasons for the GOI decision. GOI’s decision came in after considering the GOK’s application for about a month.
Government of Kerala (GOK) sought GOI’s permission to go to Abu Dhabi in compliance with the invitation of the Abu Dhabi government to attend the investors’ meet and of some organisations to attend various programmes.
Foreign Ministry is reported to have informed GOK that CM and ministerial colleagues do not need to attend such programmes; bureaucrats’ attendance is enough. Nine member team including CM, PWD & Tourism Minister and CM’s son-in-law P.A. Mohammed Riaz, Industries Minister P. Rajeev and Chief Secretary V.P. Joy IAS were supposed to leave for UAE on May 7. Investors’ meet is scheduled to take place from May 8 to 10 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Invitation was forwarded by UAE minister Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.
Now, it is reported that Chief Secretary V.P. Joy and a team of government officials are expected to attend the meet. It is still not known who are listed in the team.
There are reports that the invitation was not an ‘official’ one; if so, it would have been routed through country’s embassy or consulate general. In this case, reports suggest that country’s embassy in UAE is not aware of this invitation. Moreover, GOI’s permission is essential before an official dignitary attends such a programme abroad. And, a foreign government cannot invite a chief minister.
People of Kerala are bit relieved now, the unnecessary expenditure of the tax payers’ money is reduced to a good extent. Because, they know that CM’s foreign visits since his regime took over in 2016 have not made any difference in the state of affairs of Kerala. State has not gained anything due to CM’s European tours. Opposition parties laugh at CM’s visit to Netherlands, in the wake of the killer floods of 2018, to study ‘Room for River’, a scheme for flood control. Because, no one knows what development happened afterwards. No experts have found out any benefit due to CM’s foreign trips. Some media said that CM’s UAE visit is to meet his son there.
The people wonder why should the tax payers pick up the tab for CM’s foreign visits since it is not of any use to the state.