Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Denmark was put on hold on Tuesday as he did not receive the central government’s approval to travel.
Kejriwal was scheduled to depart for Copenhagen on Tuesday for the C40 Climate Summit to be held during 9-12 October. He was to join leaders from cities such as 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 was also scheduled to speak at a session, titled ‘Breathe Deeply’, on the steps taken by the government to tackle air pollution, including the odd-even scheme.
Kejriwal had, according to protocol, sought the permission of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to attend the climate summit.
“It is very unfortunate that the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behaving this way. This was not a private visit of the chief minister. He was going to address a conference and talk of the steps the government had taken to reduce pollution by 25%. This was an opportunity to showcase the national capital. Permission for this was sought 1.5 months ago, but still no permission was granted," senior party leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said.
There was no official comment from Kejriwal on the issue. Other ministers, including deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and health minister Satyendra Jain had the same experience, Singh alleged. However, permission was granted to West Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim to attend the Denmark summit, he claimed.
Last week, the MEA had said that a decision on the issue would be taken based on multiple inputs, including the nature of the event.
During his visit to Copenhagen, Kejriwal was scheduled to meet the mayors of four cities and the former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Kejriwal attended the Dussehra celebrations in Old Delhi on Tuesday. Last year, Kejriwal had travelled to Seoul in South Korea.