HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s plan to go to Singapore to pay tributes to the mortal remains of the first prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, who had died two days ago, was foiled by the Centre. According to sources, the external affairs ministry turned down Naidu’s request for allowing him to go to Singapore. As prime minister Narendra Modi is attending the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew to be held on March 29, the Centre told the AP government that it could not permit Naidu to visit Singapore. With the Centre rejecting his plea for visiting Singapore, Naidu sent another request to the Centre to allow him to attend the funeral as part of Modi’s delegation.
“We are now awaiting a word from Delhi on government’s delegation. We hope that the Centre will include Naidu’s name in it. The Centre told us that it would provide clarity by Thursday,” said sources in the AP CMO. Naidu was supposed to leave for Singapore on Wednesday night.
Earlier, he was scheduled to visit Singapore on March 29/30 to discuss the master plan for the capital. “Since Naidu has established a close rapport with leaders of Singapore, he is keen on attending the funeral of Lee. He is hopeful that the Centre will allow him to join the prime minister’s delegation” said source.
MEA NOD A MUST
As per the Union government’s norms, for chief ministers and other ministers foreign visits, political clearance from the ministry of external affairs is a must. It is compulsory for all CMs and ministers to inform the Centre about their proposed visits to abroad either official or private capacity, and get political clearance from the ministry of external affairs.