The Modi-led government at the Centre has justified its decision to deny permission to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and seven others to attend a climate summit in Copenhagen, saying it is meant for ‘mayor-level’ participants. However, West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim was granted permission to attend the summit.
"It was a mayor-level conference," Union minister Prakash Javadekar while responding to a question on the issue of permission.
According to sources, a separate protocol is followed when political functionaries like chief ministers are invited and rejected suggestions that opposition parties were being targeted.
The Delhi government had earlier said that Arvind Kejriwal was scheduled to leave for the C-40 Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, at 2 pm on Tuesday. He was supposed to talk about his government’s efforts to lower the level of population in Delhi. But he could not take the flight as the MEA denied him the political clearance to attend the meeting.
The AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh termed the Centre's decision to withhold the clearance "unfortunate". "This is unfortunate and beyond my understanding. Why is Modi Ji's government working with such hostility towards us?" Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh told news agency ANI.
"It was not Arvind Kejriwal's personal visit, he was not going for some fun but to explain to Asia's 100 city mayors, how the pollution of Delhi was reduced by 25 percent. He was going to explain the benefit of the ‘odd-even’ scheme," said the AAP leader.