'Sought permission late': V Muraleedharan on Saji Cheriyan missing trip to UAE

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Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan clarified the Centre's decision to deny permission for Minister Saji Cheriyan's scheduled visit to the UAE on Wednesday.

The minister had intended to fly to the UAE on Wednesday to participate in an event organized under the Malayalam Mission on Friday. However, he had to return from the airport as he did not receive a nod from the Union government on time.

V Muraleedhran pointed out that Saji Cheriyan sought permission only two days prior to the journey. He added that Cheriyan only submitted the request on May 9 for the trip scheduled for May 10.

"The travel permit could only be issued on May 11 due to legal formalities involved, including assessments from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Bahrain. Everyone knows that it would take at least a day to receive the clearance. Under normal conditions, permission should be sought at least 15 days prior to the date of departure. Saji Cheriyan should issue an explanation on why the application was at short notice," he said.

Earlier, Saji Cheriyan stated that the Centre had granted permission for him to proceed with the flight scheduled for 5.30 pm on May 10. However, he added that he would not be able to arrive at the venue on time if he travelled on the scheduled flight.

Reports stated that technical glitches emerged due to a delay in applying for permission from the External Affairs Ministry, resulting in the refusal of approval.

It is worth noting that the Centre had previously denied permission for the chief minister and a group of ministers to attend an Investors' Meet in the UAE. Muraleedharan claimed that Kerala CM was denied permission because "he had no role to play" in the Abu Dhabi Investment Forum.

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