Bengal govt to boycott India Travel Mart at Ahmedabad

More strain to State-Centre relation
Report by: 
Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay
Kolkata
11 Jan 2017

The strained relations between the state government and the centre took a turn for the worse as the state decided to boycott the two-day India Travel Mart at Ahmedabad starting on February 10.

The event will be attended by all stake holders in the tourism industry including tourism boards of all the states, travel organisations, tour operators, hotels, airlines, railways, to name a few. ``Our government is not participating in the event and it has been conveyed to the Gujarat government. We are pre-occupied with other programmes and hence our decision. I cannot say anything more on this,'' Gautam Dev, state minister for tourism told Echo of India.

However, according to sources in the government it was under the instructions of the chief minister's office that the decision was taken. ``We have severe political differences with prime minister Narendra Modi and since it is a BJP-ruled state and that too the state of Modi, our government had decided to boycott it,'' the source told Echo of India. However travel bodies say politics should not come in the way in promoting tourism industry. ``Various fairs and road shows are organised at every state where all stake holders in the industry participate. State governments avail of the opportunity to promote the industry. But this type of decisions is suicidal,'' said a tour operator who requested anonymity.

However Prabir Sinha Roy, of Travel Association of Bengal said: ``I don't know much about the invitation. But this is not the time to visit Gujarat.''