The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said it had advised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal not to attend a climate summit in Denmark as his visit there as a speaker at a panel discussion was not commensurate with the level of participation from other countries, PTI reported.

The C40 Climate Summit began in Denmark on Wednesday, and will end on Saturday. Kejriwal was to leave for Denmark at 2 pm on Tuesday, but could not do so as he did not get political clearance from the government.

“A considered decision on political clearance by the Ministry of External Affairs is based on multiple inputs and takes into account the nature of the event, the level of participation by other countries, type of invitation extended, etc,” ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “In the instant case, the participation of Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi as a speaker at a panel discussion was not commensurate with the level of participation from other countries.”

Earlier in the day, Union minister Prakash Javadekar had said that Kejriwal was denied clearance as the summit was meant for “mayor- and minister-level” participants. A West Bengal minister was instead going to attend the summit, said Javadekar. He also said that there is a separate protocol when political functionaries like chief ministers are invited, NDTV reported.

On Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh had attacked the central government for not granting political clearance to Kejriwal for the summit. Singh had said Kejriwal was not going to Denmark for a vacation but to hold a conference with mayors of 100 cities of Asia.

“This is very unfortunate,” Singh had told ANI. “I don’t know why the Narendra Modi-led government is behaving with such hostility towards us. Because Kejriwal was not going to Denmark for a vacation. He was going to the summit to tell mayors of 100 cities how pollution was reduced by 25% in Delhi.”

Last week, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said in response to a query that a decision on permission to go abroad is taken on the basis of multiple considerations. “I do not answer query specific to political clearance,” he said. “And if you understand how it functions, we get hundreds of requests for political clearances every month from ministries, secretaries, bureaucrats. A decision is based on multiple inputs.”

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