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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

For mayors, Centre on no to Kejriwal’s Denmark visit. Misleading, says AAP

The Centre said it denied permission to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to attend a climate summit in Denmark, because it “was not commensurate with the level of participation from other countries.”

india Updated: Oct 10, 2019 06:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was to leave on Tuesday for the C-40 Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, but could not do so after the Ministry of External Affairs denied permission.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was to leave on Tuesday for the C-40 Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, but could not do so after the Ministry of External Affairs denied permission. (ANI)
         

The Union government on Wednesday defended its decision not to grant permission to Arvind Kejriwal to attend the C40 climate summit in Denmark, saying it was meant for “mayor-level” participants, and therefore not commensurate with the status of Delhi’s chief minister.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) responded by dismissing the Centre’s explanation and contending that it was using the nomenclature at its “convenience” to “mislead people”.

Kejriwal was to lead an eight-member delegation for the C40 summit in Copenhagen from October 9-12. He was to leave at 2pm on Tuesday but was forced to cancel his trip because the his request for permission to travel did not elicit a response from the ministry of external affairs (MEA). For all official foreign tours, all government officials and ministers are required to take a clearance from MEA.

During a briefing on the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar was asked why the Delhi chief minister was not allowed to attend the event. “It was a mayor-level conference,” Javadekar said, adding that a West Bengal state minister was going to attend it.

Raveesh Kumar, the MEA spokesperson, said on Wednesday 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.

The AAP, however, said the government’s stance was “incorrect, ill-informed and misleading”.

“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,” the party’s national spokesperson Raghav Chadha said.

The party further alleged that the decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government reflects a bias against the people of Delhi and their elected government.

Senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said his party will raise the issue in the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi. “The elections are coming and the AAP will take this issue, of not granting us permission to present our good work to the world, to the people of Delhi,” he said

First Published: Oct 09, 2019 22:17 IST

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