NEW DELHI: Unexplained delay in environment ministry’s clearance has resulted in two Members of Parliament declining to attend the ongoing climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico.
Both CPM MP Sitaram Yechury and nominated MP M S Swaminathan confirmed that they would give the international conference a miss.
Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari had nominated the duo well in time to be a part of the official delegation. Bizarrely, however, it was only on Tuesday that the environment ministry told the MPs to book flights for the seaside Mexican resort.
Yechury was at a loss to explain the reasons for the mystifying screw up. “What is the point of traveling for 24 hours to be there for only 24 hours?” an indignant Yechury told ToI.
What has aggrieved the MPs is the manner in which the environment ministry planned the trip despite Ansari’s nod well in advance.
Strangely, the letter from environment minister Jairam Ramesh landed in the Rajya Sabha on November 24, despite it being dated November 12.
Rajya Sabha secretary general V K Agnihotri pointed out the 12-day lag in his letter to environment secretary Vijai Sharma. While environment ministry blamed the PMO for delaying the sanction, it is believed that V Narayanswamy , MoS in PMO, told the MPs that he gave the clearance only on Monday.