Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh on Wednesday clarified that Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran was denied the permission to visit China as he was going to meet an official much lower in rank.
"Whenever there is an application for a visit abroad, the opinion of embassy and missions there are sought and if the protocol arrangements are not correct, permission is not granted," Singh told the media here.
"In this case, the Minister was supposed to meet a person lower in rank than him. The Minister of one state in our country does not go to another state to meet an official," he said, adding that the prestige of the country is more important.
On September 8, Surendran had created a row soon after his request to visit China to participate in a UN World Tourism Organisation meeting was declined by the central government.
"Don't you know the way the BJP government at the Centre acts? I feel the only reason for me being denied permission to travel is nothing but political," he had said.
The UNWTO meeting is being held in China from September 11 and will continue till 16.