CPI(M) and CPI in Kerala have denied permission to three of their MLAs to visit the United States to participate in the 'International Visitor Leadership Programme', for which they have been selected along with some Congress and Indian Union Muslim League legislators.
CPI(M)'s TV Rajesh, LDF independent KT Jaleel and ES Bijimol of CPI were among seven MLAs from the state who have received invitation to attend the 21-day programme being organised by the US Government early next month.
The Congress MLAs chosen for the programme, Shafi Parambil, Anwar Sadath and I C Balakrishnan and IUML's N Shamsuddeen, would be going to the US.
The Left leadership restrained their MLAs from attending the programme as it was part of America's designs to bring young leaders from Third World countries under its influence, according to Rajesh.
Endorsing his party's stand, Rajesh said his party had its own stand on the issue and their backout was also a mark of protest to various policies of the US Government including its "insensitive" stand on the Israeli attack on Palestinians in Gaza.
"After a discussion with the party leadership, I decided not to accept the invitation," Rajesh told PTI.
Jaleel, CPI(M)-backed independent from Thavanur in Malappuram, also justified the party stand saying the decision was "appropriate by all means". "There is no doubt that the party's stand is right. I feel proud that I could stand completely by that stance," Jaleel told PTI.
Bijimol, who had plans for trip, cancelled it following her party CPI's decision. She said the party's decision was ultimate in this issue and she would go by it whole-heartedly.
However, Congress MLA Parambil confirmed his participation and also that of his party colleagues. The visit would offer a global platform for young legislators to learn various issues, he told PTI.
He also mocked at the Left leadership holding that they have refused permission to their MLAs out of fear that the US policies and lifestyle would influence them. "There is no mutual political or economic ban between India and US. Not just that, as everybody knows, IVLP is a prestigious leadership training programme. It is absurd to deny permission to attend such an event citing trivial reasons," he said.