CM yet to get central nod for Denmark visit
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.