A team of Uttar Pradesh MLAs is on a three-nation tour of Japan, Australia and New Zealand, drawing sharp criticism from opposition BJP which dubbed the move as a clear case of “misplaced priorities”.
Dismissing the criticism, UP Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey defended the visit claiming that it was a “study tour” aimed at helping lawmakers handle the drought situation in a better manner.
The 17-member delegation, led by the Speaker, comprises 15 MLAs from ruling Samajwadi Party and one each from Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The 18-day tour has drawn flak from BJP, which said the visit came at a time when farmers in Bundelkhand were battling severe drought.
Attacking the government, BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak alleged when the state is steeped in multiple problems, legislators including ministers were on a junket in the name of study tour.
“BJP MLAs did not become part of the tour as we feel that relief should be first sent to Bundelkhand farmers before embarking on such pleasure trips,” he said.