UP ministers cut short foreign visit amid row over Muzaffarnagar relief camps

Written by | January 21, 2014 | 0

Lucknow Jan,21:  The 17-member contingent of Uttar Pradesh ministers and MLAs, who were on a 18-day junket to seven countries, have been forced to cut short their visit in view of the popular anger over their insensitiveness at a time when thousands of Muzaffarnagar riot victims were still battling it out in the cold in relief camps. They will be returning to Lucknow this afternoon, three days ahead of schedule.

UP Cabinet minister Azam Khan, who is leading the delegation, will speak to mediapersons soon after reaching the state capital. The Samajwadi Party leader had earlier blamed the media for twisting facts about their tour, organized the aegis of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and describing it as “debauchery”.

“Terming the study tour comprising woman members as debauchery was perhaps not proper,” he had said in a statement issued from his London Camp Office on January 15. He also accused the media of converting the victims of Muzaffarnagar riots into “an instrument of raising their TRPs” and said competing with their each other in sympathising with them will do “more harm than good” to the community

The team was scheduled to visit Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and UAE as part of the tour itinerary, even though only one of them -Britain-was a member of the Commonwealth. The Egypt leg has now been jettisoned, and its members will now return to India from Dubai.

The tour was ostensibly meant to study the parliamentary traditions of the countries that were being covered, but as the detailed schedule showed, it was more of a leisure-cum-sightseeing trip. Among the members of the delegation was the controversial minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh, aka Raja Bhaiya.

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