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Kerala govt rubbishes reports of trying to stall PM's visit


Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 19: The Kerala government on Tuesday dismissed as "baseless" reports in a section of media that it tried to intervene in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ockhi-hit coastal areas in the state.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

In a release, the Chief Minister's Office denied the reports quoting "BJP sources" that the state government did not want Modi to visit the cyclone-affected areas near Thiruvananthapuram. The denial came as the prime minister tours cyclone-hit southern Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep today. He is scheduled to visit Poonthura, a fishing hamlet about 20 km from here, this evening.

"The prime minister's programme is prepared by the PMO. The state government has no role in deciding the PM's places of visit or date of visit," the Kerala government said in its release.

[Cyclone Ockhi: Centre to give financial assistance of Rs. 325 crore to Kerala, TN and Lakshadweep]

A message on the prime minister's visit was received at the CMO on December 16 stating that Modi was likely to visit the southern state on December 18, 19. However, there was no mention about his visit to the cyclone-affected fishing hamlets here in the tentative programme. Only in the confirmed final programme, the PM's places of visit and discussions with the state government had been included, the statement said.


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