AAP says ‘insult’, Centre says Mayor-level event

War of words ensues after CM Kejriwal is denied travel permission to attend C40 Summit in Denmark

Stepping up its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Centre’s refusal to give clearance to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to visit Denmark to attend a summit, AAP on Wednesday said that the PM acted like a “raja” and that he does whatever comes to his mind.

The CM was scheduled to travel to Denmark to participate in the C40 World Mayors’ Summit on environment. Calling it an “insult” to the people of Delhi, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said that they would raise the issue while campaigning for the next Assembly elections in Delhi.

Koi reason nahin batate. Raja hain, jo man mein aaya, kar diya [The PM doesn’t give us any reason. He acts like a king and does whatever comes to his mind],” Mr. Singh said while talking about other AAP Ministers who were allegedly denied permission to travel abroad.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs said that a decision on political clearance is taken by the MEA based on multiple inputs and takes into account the nature of the event, the level of participation by other countries, type of invitation extended, etc.

“In this case, the participation of the Delhi CM as a speaker at a panel discussion was not commensurate with the level of participation from other countries. The CM 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,” the spokesperson said.

Mr. Singh argued that the excuse put forward by the Centre — that the summit was of Mayors and Mr. Kejriwal, being a CM, cannot attend it — was a lame defence. “Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had earlier attended the same meet,” he added.

Delhi government sources on Wednesday shared an MEA communication, which stated that it was declining sanction to the Chief Minister and seven other officials to attend the summit having examined the proposal “from political angle”.

The document stated that Mr. Kejriwal was to be accompanied by his Cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain; Special Secretary of Environment Department, Arun Mishra; Additional Secretary Pravesh Ranjan Jha; Personal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Bibhav Kumar; Adviser to the Chief Minister, Gopal Mohan; Adviser (Media) to Mr. Kejriwal, Nagendar Sharma and Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi Vice-Chairman Jasmine Shah.

The communication also mentioned that the delegation had received administrative approval from L-G Anil Baijal and the source of funding for the visit was the State government.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 3:25:06 PM |

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