Advani to lead MPs on UNGA visit - The New Indian Express

Advani to lead MPs on UNGA visit

Published: 24th September 2012 08:17 AM

Last Updated: 24th September 2012 12:00 PM

Even as the main Opposition BJP is engaged in a political ‘war of wits’ with the  Congress-led UPA Government on corruption and a host of other issues, the party’s senior leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani will be away for ten days in early October to address the UN General Assembly(UNGA) in New York as a government representative.

The octogenarian would be heading a delegation of MPs which includes N K Singh (JD(U), T R Baalu (DMK), Satish Chandra Mishra(BSP) and Dharmendra Yadav (SP). The list was approved by the Prime Minister after the same was forwarded by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA).

Meanwhile, the timing of Advani’s latest “yatra” has raised eyebrows in the BJP.

While Advani would be leading the first contingent of MPs, two more BJP MPs are likely to go the UNGA in later groups. And MEA sources say that Ananth Kumar, an Advani confidant, and Najma Heptulla, another Advani loyalist, would be among the MPs scheduled to visit the UNGA. Usually three contingents of MPs are sent to the UNGA, but the combined strength of teams should not exceed 21.

BJP leaders are questioning the propriety of Advani’s UN trip since the party had launched a high voltage attack on the UPA, and even stalled Parliament on Coalgate. “Was is necessary for a leader of his stature to agree to go to the UN, at the behest of the government, when he had emerged as one of the leading voices against the government,” asked an exasperated party general secretary. However, a  BJP spokesperson said that it was not fair to question Advani’s visit “as it was decided much in advance”.

Other MPs like Trinamool’s Derek O’brien are also slated to go to the UNGA, but whether he will is a matter of speculation following the recent rift between the Congress and the TMC.

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