CM yet to get cen­tral nod for Den­mark visit

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­

New Delhi: Chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal’s visit to Den­mark to at­tend the C40 Cities Cli­mate Sum­mit hangs in the bal­ance with the min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs (MEA) yet to grant po­lit­i­cal clear­ance to him. Sources said that MEA has not only re­fused to share any rea­sons for with­hold­ing the clear­ance, but it has also not re­sponded to Delhi gov­ern­ment’s at­tempts to reach out to it.

Any politi­cian, min­is­ter or chief min­is­ter has to take po­lit­i­cal clear­ance from MEA to talk about the gov­ern­ment poli­cies or vi­sion at any fo­rum abroad.

The chief min­is­ter is sched­uled to speak on his gov­ern­ment’s ex­pe­ri­ence in re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion lev­els in the cap­i­tal at the C40 Sum­mit be­tween Oc­to­ber 9 and 12 at Den­mark’s cap­i­tal— Copen­hagen. Ke­jri­wal is sup­posed to join lead­ers of cities like New York, Lon­don, Paris, Los An­ge­les and Ber­lin on the high table of ur­ban pow­er­houses to de­lib­er­ate on the cli­mate cri­sis im­pact­ing the world. He is sched­uled to ad­dress a joint press con­fer­ence to launch the Clean Air Cities Dec­la­ra­tion, with the may­ors of Paris, Los An­ge­les, Copen­hagen, Port­land, Jakarta and Barcelona. He will also ad­dress two other ses­sions ti­tled ‘Breathe Deeply’ and ‘Asian May­ors and City Lead­ers Meet­ing’.

Ke­jri­wal is sched­uled to meet the may­ors of Syd­ney, Jo­han­nes­burg and Rot­ter­dam as well for bi­lat­eral en­gage­ments.

“The treat­ment be­ing meted out to an elected chief min­is­ter is shock­ing. There is no public record in the 70 years of In­dia’s in­de­pen­dence of any other oc­ca­sion when the cen­tral gov­ern­ment de­nied per­mis­sion to a chief min­is­ter to travel out of the coun­try for of­fi­cial pur­poses,” a source said. “The visit would only bring good press for the coun­try abroad and strengthen its im­age on the world stage.”

In Au­gust this year, deputy chief min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia was de­nied per­mis­sion in time to at­tend the World Ed­u­ca­tion Con­fer­ence in Moscow, sources said. Po­lit­i­cal clear­ance eluded Delhi health min­is­ter Satyen­dar Jain in Novem­ber 2018 when he had to ad­dress a ses­sion on the health revo­lu­tion in Delhi at the Uni­ver­sity of Mel­bourne.

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