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Gehlot to tour New York in official capacity

June 24, 2003 19:19 IST

Controversy over Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's proposed visit to New York, to attend an event being organised by Rajasthan Association of North Americans, has ended with the Centre on Tuesday permitting him to make it an official tour.

Gehlot will lead a 15-member delegation to New York where non-resident Rajasthanis living in United States and neighbouring countries are holding a three-day conference beginning July 4.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs had refused to recommend Gehlot's visit, his first to any foreign country since he took over in 1998. Making the denial a political issue, Gehlot refused to go to the US in personal capacity as suggested by MEA.

The state government has already sent three tonnes of material for display at the conference whose organisers have promised to contribute one crore rupees for drought relief in the desert state.

The New York conference is a sequel to the conference of non-resident Rajasthanis organised in Jaipur in 2000 by the state government, sources added.

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