New Delhi: Union Minister M K Azagiri, who has been in the news for wrong reasons like spending more time outside Delhi, courted another controversy when his office wrote a letter to the Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan seeking help for businessmen visiting that country allegedly in violation of protocol.
The office of Azagiri, the Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, wrote to Syed Manal Shah, the Indian envoy in the central Asian country, asking him to help some businessmen during their stay there.
"It is a very routine kind of a thing. Help was sought within the framework laid down by the government. A copy of the letter was marked to the Joint Secretary concerned in the Ministry of External Affairs. The MEA was kept in the loop," an official in Alagiri`s office said denying there was any violation of diplomatic protocol.
Repeated efforts to reach Alagiri proved futile but the official in his office said the letter was not written by the Minister.
Two businessmen from India were supposed to visit Uzbekistan in the third week of September and the letter was written on September 11 asking the envoy to help them during the visit. "The visit did not even materialise," the official said.
The letter by Azagiri`s office is said to be in violation of a communication from the Cabinet Secretary which prescribes norms to be followed by officials, especially when dealing with foreign visits.
Azagiri, a first-time MP and a minister straightaway, has faced controversies over his problems in language in Parliament and his propensity to spend more time in Madurai, his constituency.