Kerala Minister not to attend Beijing Olympics

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 9 (UNI) Despite getting a last minute nod from the Centre, Kerala Sports Minister M Vijayakumar said today that he would not visit the ongoing Beijing Olympics as the conditions laid down by the External Affairs Ministry on his visit were an insult.

Talking to newspersons here, the Minister said ''the conditions put up are an insult to Kerala.'' Initially, the Minister was excluded from the Indian delegation for Beijing Olympics. However, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan took up the matter with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alleging that the permission was denied on political grounds.

Subsequently, the Prime Minister's Office(PMO) yesterday evening cleared the trip. However, sources said as per the letter, the minister would have to make his own arrangements for stay and travel in Beijing.

However, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed denied the charges and said, if Mr Vijayakumar wanted any further clarification, he could approach the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

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