LG VK Saxena says no, but Arvind Kejriwal says he’ll go

Following the rejection, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said his government will now directly approach the ministry of external affairs to seek political clearance for the chief minister’s Singapore visit

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi VK Saxena and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Photo Composite: ANI

New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena has rejected the Aam Aadmi Party government’s proposal for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to attend Eighth World City Summit & WCS Mayors Forum in Singapore on 1 August.

Following the rejection, the chief minister has sent a letter listing down reasons why he should attend it and concluded it by saying that they will attend the summit.

Arvind Kejriwal has been invited to attend the World Cities Summit between 31 July and 3 August to be held in Singapore to present the Delhi model of governance. The Delhi CM reportedly wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the matter and has been awaiting permission for more than a month. He alleged that there were political reasons behind the delay to grant him a go-ahead for the summit.

According to an official from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, the chief minister’s office (CMO) submitted a file to the LG’s office on 7 June seeking approval for the official foreign tour.

Inappropriate for a chief minister: Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena 

As per the copies of the statements uploaded on the AAP’s twitter handle, Saxena wrote, having carefully studied the nature of the forum and the profile of other attendees, as also the subjects being deliberated upon at the conference, the conference will be covering different aspects of urban governance which in the case of Delhi are addressed by diverse civic bodies ranging from NDMC, MCD and DDA apart from the GNCTD. He underlined the fact that Government of National Capital Territory (GNCTD) does not have exclusive domain over the issues corresponding with the theme of the conference and hence it will be inappropriate for a chief minister to be attending the same.

In 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 NDMC. Apart from the above facts, a chief minister attending such a Conference will also set bad precedent, the document read.

Humbly differ with the advice of Hon’ble LG: Arvind Kejriwal

Replying to Saxena’s “advice” Kejriwal wrote, “I have carefully examined the advice of Hon’ble LG and differ with him for the following reasons

1. It is not just a Mayor’s conference. It is a conference of mayors, city leaders, knowledge experts etc. Singapore government has chosen to invite the CM of Delhi. Its a matter of great pride that the Delhi model of governance, especially our work in education, health and power sector is being discussed and recognised the world over. Singapore government has invited me to present Delhi model before the city leaders from the whole world. It is a matter of great pride for every patriotic Indian. All of us should celebrate it and do our best to facilitate this visit.

2. Human life is not compartmentalised into the subjects mentioned in the three Lists of the Constitution. If the visit of each Constitutional authority in our country were to be decided on the basis of what subjects fall within the jurisdiction of that authority, it would create a funny situation and a practical logjam. Then the Prime Minister would not be able to go anywhere because in most of his visits, he also discusses subjects which fall in state list and do not fall in his jurisdiction. Then no CM would ever be able to make any visit anywhere in the world.

Therefore, I humbly differ with the advice of Hon’ble LG. We will go ahead with the visit. Kindly apply for political clearance from the central government.”

Will seek political clearance from MEA: Manish Sisodia

Following the rejection, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said his government will now directly approach the ministry of external affairs to seek political clearance for the chief minister’s Singapore visit.

“The LG 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 means politics is 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.


With input from agencies

Also read:

Who is ‘stopping’ Arvind Kejriwal from visiting Singapore? The permissions needed by CMs for foreign trips explained

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