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State legislators’ Gujarat visit called off

State legislators’ Gujarat visit called off

Thiruvananthapuram: A planned visit by a group of legislators led by senior ministers of the ruling UDF government to Gujarat to study urban development initiatives undertaken there has been called off.

The tour of the legislators was planned by Kerala Legislative Assembly Subject Committee on Local Administration, Rural Development and Housing, in which legislators from Congress, CPI-M, Muslim League, Kerala Congress-Mani, CPI and National Secular Conference are members.

Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph, talking to Madhyamam on Thursday said that the plan was cancelled as it became controversial despite the motto of the visit.

Following the controversy, the Committee dropped the top ministers from the list and decided to send in three legislators. "However, that has also been cancelled," Joseph said.

The minister further said that the earlier plan was to visit four other states except Gujarat and that would happen as planned.

It was earlier reported that the 11-member team headed by state Rural Development Minister K C Joseph, Finance Minister K M Mani, Urban and Minority Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali and Panchayat and Social Welfare Minister M K Muneer would reach Surat on December 12, where it will hold discussions with state government officials on implementation of sewage system in the city. The news hit headlines as it came at a time when Congress was all out to puncture BJP's claim over Gujarat model of development.

K Achuthan (Congress), C Mammootty (Muslim League), P T A Rahim (National Secular Conference), V Sivankutty, P Sreemakrishnan, K V Vijayadas (CPI-M) and E K Vijayan (CPI) were also part of the committee.

The senior leaders' tour to Gujarat to study its urban development initiatives came days after Congress released a 32-page document carrying statistics about Gujarat's performance on various paradigms. Union Minister Kapil Sibal had called Modi's state as "most indebted state of India".

Kerala had witnessed a political storm some months ago over state Labour Minister Shibu Baby John's meeting with Modi in Ahmedabad on April 18 on the sidelines of a function.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who came under attack from the Left parties, had said the visit did not have his permission and sought an explanation from John, an RSP-B leader, who later apologised.

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