The Centre’s denial of permission to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to attend the C40 Climate Summit currently underway at Copenhagen, Denmark, has come in for sharp criticism from various quarters. Kejriwal was one of the speakers at the Summit (being held from October 9 to 12), and was supposed to showcase Delhi as a successful case study for reduction in air pollution. Air pollution has gone down by over 25 per cent in the city during the past five years.
Raghav Chadha, AAP spokesperson told The Kochi Post that whatever be the reason for the denial of permission to Kejriwal, it was an insult to the people of Delhi. He added, “They did the same last year when they denied permission to Manish Sisodia to go to Moscow to attend the World Education Conference. The Union government has been treating the people of Delhi with utmost contempt…If you disrespect a government that has been elected by a thumping majority, you are disrespecting the people.”
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, at a press conference yesterday, defended the government’s decision not to grant permission, saying it was meant for “mayor-level” participants and did not behove the status of the Delhi Chief Minister. Kejriwal was to lead an eight-member delegation to the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the nodal ministry, did not give clearance for Kejriwal’s visit.