Union Minister of State for External Affairs, General V.K. Singh has said that the country's prestige was at stake in the proposed China visit by Kerala Minister Kadakampalli Surendran and hence it had to be stopped.
Talking to the media persons in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, Singh who was a on a brief visit to the state capital explained why the Centre denied permission to the Kerala Minister to visit China. The minister from Kerala had proposed to interact with officials who did not have the required stature, stated Singh. This had created a protocol problem, he added. The Ministry of External Affairs was always keen to uphold the prestige of the country. Therefore the Ministry decided to deny permission to Kadakampalli Surendran, he informed. The External Affairs Ministry sought the view of the concerned embassy in this regard. The embassy recommended against the Kerala Minister's China visit, he stated.
Kadkampalli Surendran who hold charge of tourism in the LDF ministry in Kerala had planned to visit China leading a delegation of officials to attend a global tourism meet. But at the eleventh hour, the Centre denied him permission. Kadakampalli had sought to rouse a controversy over the abrupt denial of permission for his China visit without furnishing reasons. He alleged that this was political discrimination by the Centre. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan took strong exception to Kadakampalli being denied permission. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had in the meanwhile written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi protesting against the Centre's decision.