Kejriwal defies LG, says will go ahead with Singapore trip
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has declared that he would "go ahead" with his Singapore trip to attend an international summit despite the block by Lieutenant Governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena. In response to LG, Kejriwal also mentioned that if one goes by his logic, then "the Prime Minister will also not be able to go anywhere".
Kejriwal was invited to the "World Cities Summit" back in June by Singapore High Commissioner Simon Wong. He is expected to address the meeting on August 1. However, with the clearance getting delayed, he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, saying it was "against the interest of the country to stop a chief minister from visiting such an important stage."
"This is the program of the mayor, the Chief Minister should not go into it," LG Saxena wrote to the Delhi government's request for clearance. "I humbly beg to differ with the advice of the Lieutenant Governor," Kejriwal wrote in response. "Human life is not compartmentalized into the subjects mentioned in the three lists of the Constitution," he added.
"If the visit of each constitutional authority were to be decided on the basis of what subjects fall within the jurisdiction of that authority, it would create a funny situation and practical logjam," Kejriwal said in his letter. He added that even the Prime Minister cannot go anywhere in such a situation because most of his visits don't fall in his jurisdiction.
After Delhi LG returned the file from CM Kejriwal seeking permission for the Singapore visit, the CM office has now written to the Ministry Of External Affairs (MEA) for 'political clearance'. "We hope that the Centre will give this clearance as this visit will make India Proud at World Cities Summit," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has said in his letter.
Notably, in 2019, the Centre had withheld permission to Kejriwal for a similar visit, saying it is unbecoming for a Chief Minister to participate in a meeting meant for Mayors. Kejriwal finally had to address the meet online. Meanwhile, Sisodia accused the LG of playing politics. "Even the prime minister goes for state-related issues. This is mean politics at work," Sisodia told reporters.