Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, September 23
Amid the rising confrontation between Punjab’s AAP government and the BJP-led Centre, Punjab New and Renewable Energy Minister Aman Arora has been denied permission to travel to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Arora was to travel to the three countries from September 24 to October 2, to get exposure to the latest developments in hydrogen sector across Europe, and get an opportunity for interaction with global experts, policymakers and industry regarding different aspects of green hydrogen deployment, including policy, regulations and standards and financing.
According to official sources, no explanation whatsoever has been given for denial of the political clearance by the Ministry of External Affairs to the Punjab minister.
Thirteen people from eight states and five central government organisations had expressed their wish to participate in the seminar. Arora was the only political person in the list, while all others are technocrats and bureaucrats.
Besides, Assam IAS officer Neeraj Verma has also not got the clearance.
Speculation is rife that the denial of permission to Arora is a result of the growing confrontation between the AAP government and the Centre, after the state government accused the BJP of trying to topple their government. A special Assembly session called by the AAP government on the issue was also cancelled by the governor.
There is also talk of the fiasco in Germany during the recent visit of CM Bhagwant Mann, which could have influenced the Centre’s latest decision. The CM had issued a statement that BMW was willing to set up a plant in Punjab, which was denied by BMW India. There were also reports of the CM being deplaned in Frankfurt, which remain unverified.
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