Congress criticises Centre's denial of permission to Kerala minister to visit Kuwait

The opposition Congress in Kerala on Friday criticised the Centre's decision denying permission to state Health Minister Veena George to travel to Kuwait to coordinate relief efforts for Malayalees affected by the tragic fire incident in the Gulf nation.
Kerala Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, V D Satheesan
Kerala Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, V D Satheesan

Kochi | The opposition Congress in Kerala on Friday criticised the Centre's decision denying permission to state Health Minister Veena George to travel to Kuwait to coordinate relief efforts for Malayalees affected by the tragic fire incident in the Gulf nation.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan said it was "unfortunate" that the state health minister was not allowed to travel to Kuwait.

"A representative of the state government would have helped to better coordinate the relief efforts. The state's representative would also have been able to help the Union government carry out the relief efforts.

"The Central government ought to have immediately given clearance to the state health minister. It was a wrong message from the Centre's side," he said.

George on Thursday night said, "What we just sought from the Central government was the permission to travel to Kuwait to stand with our people affected by the tragedy and coordinate activities there. That permission is denied." The state government had decided to send George to Kuwait to help with the relief efforts, including treatment for the injured and the repatriation of the deceased.

George reportedly waited for hours at the airport, hoping for permission from the Ministry of External Affairs.

Officials had said that 49 people were killed in the fire in the Al-Mangaf building on June 12 and 42 of them were Indians; the remaining were Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals.

The building in southern Kuwait's Mangaf area housed around 195 migrant workers.

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