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Both Centre, Kerala battle over credit for evacuating Indians from Libya

A total of 29 Indians have been evacuated from Libya out of which 16 are from Kerala and they reached Kochi this morning.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: May 13, 2016 10:54 am
Oommen Chandy, sushma swaraj, Libya, Chandy libya, Libya Indians, Chandy Libya Indians, sushma chandy, libya indians, libya indians evacuation, indians in libya, kerala news, india news Kerala CM Oommen Chandy.

AS 29 Indians, including 16 from Kerala, who were stranded in war-torn Libya reached Kochi on Thursday, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy engaged in another war of words with the Centre.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in the state, sought to take credit for the evacuation, Chandy today claimed that his government bore the cost of bringing them back. “Sushma Swaraj paid for the (flight) tickets during the earlier evacuations. But this time, the state government is paying for their travel,’’ said Chandy.

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reacted in a series of sharply-worded tweets addressed to “Mr Chandy”. “We evacuated thousands of Indians from Kerala from Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Who paid for them,” she tweeted.

“You said ‘Kerala paid for 29 Indians evacuated from Libya’… Mr Chandy, you started this debate as to who paid. Not me. We always did this because this is our pious duty towards our citizens,” tweeted Swaraj.

Meanwhile, Josy Kurian, who returned with his wife and 18-month-old son, said neither the state nor the central governments had paid for their flight from Tripoli to Kochi, via Istanbul and Dubai. He claimed that he paid Rs 2.50 lakh for three flight tickets. “We did not get any help from the Indian mission at Tripoli,’’ he said. A resident of Alappuzha, Kurian said 13 of those who returned today were nurses and their families.

Meanwhile, Non-Resident Keralite Affairs CEO R S Kannan said the state government would reimburse the cost of the tickets.

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  1. Nepid
    May 13, 2016 at 3:14 am
    These people think THEY paid for something, it's not their money which they are spending for rescue activities.
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      Abishek
      May 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm
      He takes credit for his govt. N not for himself. He takes credit for himself as PM of India and credit for his govt as GOI... Thats how election campaigns go.. Isnt it ? Why suddenly asking who paid for it? Didnt Mr. Chandy claim his govt did this and his govt did that in his election campaigns? He did all those in people's money only. That time u didnt ask anything. Y now?
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      1. aji govinda
        May 13, 2016 at 6:13 am
        Credit and appeciation needs to be given when and where it is due.There is absolutely no doubt that in a series of humanitarian crises and resulting m evacuations and also very personalised interventions, particularly in Yemen, in Libya , Syria etc this NDA government and the MEA has done a fabulous job in orderly and human evacuation. Not just Malayalees but others too have benefited including foriegn nationals !!.lt;br/gt;Sushma Swaraj and her team as also VK Singh's project management in Yemen was much appreciated !!. even in individualised responses for visa issues, pirate hostage issues, the Ministry has done a commendable job.lt;br/gt;this is true particularly in comparison to the 10 yr UPA regime which was one of the most insensitive , which had Vayalar ravi ( a Malayalee )for a while as Civil Aviation and NRI affairs.
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          Observer
          May 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm
          Keralites the new Somalians as per BJP and Sushma. They should be eternally grateful to Modi for this great favour?
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            Observer
            May 12, 2016 at 12:04 pm
            Sushma swaraj paid for it from RSS's bank accounts! At this rate, we are heading for disintegrating of our country.
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