After Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena dismissed Arvind Kejriwal’s proposal, seeking permission to attend a summit in Singapore, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener said on Thursday he did not agree with Saxena’s suggestion and will go ahead with the visit. Saxena had advised Kejriwal to not attend the conference, meant for mayors.
According to sources, Saxena pointed out that the ‘Eighth World City Summit & WCS Mayors Forum’ in Singapore will cover aspects of urban governance, which, in case of Delhi, are addressed by different civic bodies such as the MCD, NDMC and DDA.
Sources said L-G Saxena has underlined the fact that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) does not have exclusive domain over the issues corresponding with the theme of the conference and hence it will not be appropriate for a CM to attend it.
The L-G’s Office said it believes in the context of the WCS Smart City Workshop that is being organised as a part of the conference, it has been pointed out that the Smart City Project in Delhi is being anchored by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
According to sources, apart from the above facts, a CM attending such a conference will also set a bad precedent.
Kejriwal on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought permission to attend the World Cities Summit in Singapore.
In his letter, Kejriwal said, “The government of Singapore has invited us to present the Delhi model at the global summit. During the summit, the Delhi model has to be presented in front of many big leaders of the world. Today the whole world wants to know about the Delhi model. This invitation is a matter of pride and honour for the country.”
He further said he had not received any response from the Centre after he had written the letter on June 7.
Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday that his government will now approach the external affairs ministry to seek clearance for Kejriwal’s Singapore visit.
“The L-G has advised Kejriwal to not attend the conference since it is a conference of mayors. The chief ministers of other states have attended this conference in the past. Even the prime minister goes for state-related issues. This is mean politics at work. We will now approach the Ministry of External Affairs directly for political clearance and hope that they will accept our request," Sisodia said during a briefing.
The World Cities Summit is a forum for leaders and industry experts to address the challenges of sustainable city and to deliberate on integrated urban solutions.
The summit will be held from July 31 to August 3.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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