Controversies related to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s visit to the UAE come to an end. This clarification has come amid allegations that the Chief Minister is visiting the UAE without the permission of the central government. The documents of the Ministry of External Affairs giving permission for the Chief Minister’s visit to the UAE have now come out.
Last Monday, the Chief Minister sought permission from the central government to meet his son in the UAE. The Ministry of External Affairs said it had no objection to the private visit. The Chief Minister returned from Europe after attending a business meet organized by the Indian High Commission. His wife Kamala is also with him. The Chief Minister will return to Kerala on the 14th.
The Department of Public Administration stated that the permission of the Ministry of External Affairs had been received for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s visit to the UAE. Pinarayi Vijayan had first sought permission to visit Norway and England. Ministry of External Affairs gave permission.
During his visit to England, he sought permission from the Ministry of External Affairs to meet his son who was working in the UAE. This too has been approved by the Centre. Officials said that the travel permission for the Chief Minister is given to the External Affairs Minister through the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State for External Affairs should not know this.
Officials of the Department of Public Administration clarified that there is nothing wrong in seeking permission to visit other countries while visiting those countries after getting permission to travel to Norway and England. If the Chief Minister is only staying in the UAE for a few hours during the trip, he can rest at the airport.
He sought permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because he was staying in the UAE for two days. Permission was granted without delay. The Minister of State for External Affairs does not need to know the permission given to the Chief Minister.
Health Minister Veena George, who accompanied the Chief Minister on a foreign visit, had also sought permission to visit the UAE to meet his relative. Ministry of External Affairs also gave permission for this. Officials of the Public Administration Department said that the Minister of State for External Affairs will know the travel details of the ministers.
The Department of Public Administration says that it is not a law but only a suggestion that the Chief Minister, Ministers, high-ranking officials and government officials must obtain permission from the Ministry of External Affairs when they go abroad.
It has been stated that Kerala is strictly following this instruction. In 2015, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a circular to inform about travel information. Normally, Chief Ministers and Ministers do not travel abroad unless permission is given by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Earlier, no permission from the Ministry of External Affairs was required for foreign visits. After the Ministry of External Affairs issued a circular making the permission compulsory, the states sought permission through letters. Permission would have been sought before 15 days.
After the introduction of the special online system for seeking permission, there was a practice of applying weeks and days in advance. Normally the Ministry of External Affairs does not deny travel permission. After visiting abroad, the Chief Minister will return on the morning of 15th.
At the same time, Union Minister of State Muraleedharan accused the Chief Minister of harsh criticism. Muralidharan had alleged that the Chief Minister was visiting Dubai without the permission of the central government. Muralidharan had said that the Center had given permission to visit UK, Norway and Finland, but the Chief Minister decided to return to Dubai after visiting UK and Norway.