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Arvind Kejriwal to address C40 summit through video conference

The Centre on Wednesday had defended its decision not to grant permission to Kejriwal, saying it was meant for “mayor-level” participants, and therefore not commensurate with the status of Delhi’s chief minister.

delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2019 05:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will address the C40 World Mayors Conference in Copenhagen on Friday through video conference.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will address the C40 World Mayors Conference in Copenhagen on Friday through video conference. (PTI)
         

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will address the C40 World Mayors Conference in Copenhagen on Friday through video conference, the government said in a press statement issued on Thursday. Kejriwal was to lead an eight-member delegation for the summit scheduled from October 9-12. He was to leave at 2pm on October 8 but was forced to cancel his trip after the Centre did not grant the CM permission to attend the event.

The Centre on Wednesday had defended its decision not to grant permission to Kejriwal, saying it was meant for “mayor-level” participants, and therefore not commensurate with the status of Delhi’s chief minister. The AAP responded by dismissing the Centre’s explanation and contending that it was using the nomenclature at its “convenience” to “mislead people”.

“The chief minister will also address a joint press conference through video conferencing with mayors of six major world cities at 12 noon on Friday… The chief minister has accepted the request of the summit organisers to deliver his address through video conferencing in the session titled – Breathe deeply, city solutions for clean air,” the Delhi government said in the statement.

It further said, “The chief minister is expected to share his experiences on how Delhi has been successful in reducing air pollution by 25 % in the last five years. He is also likely to share the experience of how Delhi became the first city in the world to successfully implement the odd-even experiment for restricting the vehicular traffic on the roads of the city, which led to a reduction in air pollution in Delhi.”

During a briefing on Wednesday, Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar, in response to a specific query on the subject, had said, “It was a mayor-level conference,” adding that a West Bengal state minister was going to attend it.

Raveesh Kumar, the MEA spokesperson, on Wednesday said that a decision on political clearance is based on multiple inputs and takes into account the nature of the event, the level of participation by other countries, type of invitation extended, and so on.

“In the instant case, the participation of chief minister of the NCT of Delhi as a speaker at a panel discussion was not commensurate with the level of participation from other countries. The chief minister of one of the largest and populous cities in the world, which also is the capital of India, was, therefore, advised not to attend the event,” Kumar said.

In response to the Centre’s defence, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha responded, “Javadekar did not check the facts before speaking. Had he done so he would have known that in 2007 the then Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit had led the a delegation for the C40 climate change summit, which was held in New York. Various mayors and chief ministers from around the world had participated in that summit.”

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 23:21 IST

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