Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) refused ‘political clearance’ to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for addressing C-40 Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Kejriwal was to head an eight-member delegation for the summit, scheduled from October 9-12. He was scheduled to leave for Copenhagen at 2 pm on Tuesday but had to cancel the trip due to lack of clearance. But at the same time MEA clearance to West Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim.
The AAP Government slammed the Central Government to withhold the sanction and termed the decision as ‘Unfortunate’ and ‘Regressive move’. Besides, it appears to them that the Centre took the decision as per its whims and fancies without backing it with a bonafide reason. In November 2018, it had similarly denied permission to Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia from travelling to Austria to talk about the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ introduced by the AAP government in state schools.
AAP’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said, “This was no personal visit, he [Kejriwal] was not going for sightseeing. He was going to talk among Mayors of 100 cities of Asia, how pollution was reduced by 25 per cent in Delhi… But you cancelled a Chief Minister’s visit. You have made a joke out of the whole system.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told the media that the ministry believes that the responsibility of establishing and balancing the diplomatic equation lies with the Central government, which is subject to National Interest.
“A considered decision on political clearance by the Ministry of External Affairs 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, etc. 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,” said Raveesh Kumar.
The point of concern that requires attention is the Centre’s arbitrary action. “The central government needs to fulfil its responsibility and maintain transparency in such matters”, said Shadan Farasat, Supreme Court Advocate, having a neutral stand.
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