New Delhi: According to sources, Rahul Gandhi did not obtain “political permission” from the government before going to London, as all MPs are required to do.
According to official sources, all MPs must notify the Ministry of External Affairs three weeks before any international trip and obtain political permission, as well as post details on the foreign ministry’s website.
According to the sources, the Congress MP did not do so. According to them, invitations to MPs from foreign governments or institutions must go through the foreign ministry.
“If the invitation comes straight from the foreign ministry, political clearance is required. Before traveling abroad, all MPs have been ordered to guarantee that they do so “official sources said.
The protocol circulated among MPs says members have to apply for political clearance on the foreign ministry website three weeks in advance. “All invitations from any foreign source, namely, government of any country or any foreign entity are expected to be routed through the Ministry of External Affairs. However, in case such an invitation is received directly, Members are required to bring it to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs and necessary political clearance of that Ministry should also be obtained for the purpose,” the rules say.
“Seeking timely political clearance from MEA will enable them to make a recommendation to the Member taking into account the stature of the foreign entity extending the invitation, the appropriateness of the forum, public interest, etc,” they say, adding that it applies for private visits too.
The Congress, in a statement released in response to media allegations citing sources, stated that MPs “do not require” any such political clearance and blamed the reports on “PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) WhatsApp recommendations” given to various channels.
“MPs don’t need political clearance from the PM or government unless they are part of an official delegation. Please don’t blindly follow the PMO WhatsApp suggestions sent to TV channels,” wrote Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Twitter.
Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the UK has made headlines because of his remarks at a Cambridge event criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
PM Modi is promoting an inclusive vision of India that excludes large segments of the population, according to the Congress leader.
“My problem with the RSS and the Prime Minister is that they are fiddling with the foundational structure of India. When you play the politics of polarisation, when you isolate and demonise 200 million people, you’re doing something extremely dangerous and you’re doing something that is fundamentally against the idea of India… I’m sure there are good things the Prime Minister has done, but for me attacking the idea of India is unacceptable,” he added.