Under fire, Jagadish Shettar will skip China-UK garbage

BENGALURU/HUBBALLI: the minister of industries canceled his trip to China on Friday and London hours after TOI published a report that the minister, his wife and the department officials were leaving on a 12-day excursion with all expenses paid as of next week.

Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, the minister said that flooding in Belagavi and other parts of northern Karnataka forced him to rule out the visit. However, the sources stated that the garbage, which attracted criticism from many sectors, would have put the BJP government and party leadership in Delhi in low light. Therefore, the change of direction.

Sources at Karnataka Udyog Mitra (KUM), the government agency with the mandate to promote and facilitate investments in the state, said Shettar's two children and their wives also planned to join the family on the government-sponsored trip. Some of the department officers had decided to bring their children. The minister said the government only sponsored his trip and that of the officials, and not the families.

Shettar: I wasn't looking forward to a trip abroad, planned department tour

But KUM officials refused to corroborate this statement that the minister and officials were paying for the trip and the stay of their relatives.

When asked about the excursion with his family when the state falters under floods and drought, Shettar said in Hubballi: He did not feel like traveling abroad. The department planned the tour after receiving invitations from China and the United Kingdom for investor meetings. As minister of industries, it is my duty to bring more investments to the state. This could have given the state an opportunity.

Shettar and his team of officers had received an invitation from a delegation from China that had visited Bengaluru recently. From China, the Karnataka team was planning to travel to the UK to attend 19th London Global Convention on corporate governance and sustainability starting on November 13. Eight senior officers, including commerce and industries principal secretary Gaurav Gupta, were supposed to attend the meeting.

CT Ravi too?

The Karnataka tourism department is said to be planning to set up a stall at a London event later this month to promote tourism in Karnataka. However, minister CT Ravi is yet to give his consent to the trip.