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Left legislators unhappy over Babu leading UK delegation

Left legislators unhappy over Babu leading UK delegation

Thiruvananthapuram: Two opposition LDF MLAs, who are part of the 10-member delegation for the UK, have expressed reservations on being part of the trip after learning that Excise Minister K Babu, who is facing bribery charges, will be leading it.

The delegation was scheduled to leave for the UK on November 19, but the visit has been rescheduled.

CPI leader C Divakaran, who was in the delegation, said that Parliamentary Affairs Minister, K C Joseph, was earlier tipped to lead the delegation. However, without consulting the opposition MLAs, it was later decided that Babu would lead the delegation.

The two opposition MLAs- of CPI(M) and CPI, were not keen on being part of the delegation in the present circumstances as the delegation is being led by Babu, he said.

However, Joseph said the visit had been rescheduled and fresh dates have not yet been finalised.

The visit was rescheduled as the last date of enrolment of voters list for the assembly polls next year, was November 30 and many MLAs had stated they cannot leave during this period, he said.

About opposition being miffed at the Excise Minister leading the delegation, Joseph said Babu is a minister and he will be leading the team.

Hotelier Biju Ramesh has alleged that Rs 10 crore was given to the Excise Minister for renewal of licences of liquor bars.

Babu has claimed that those who have levelled bribery allegations against him have given "contradictory statements" to the probe agency, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau which exonerated him after the preliminary investigation into the case.

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