AAP, BJP leaders spar over Delhi schools during joint inspection, release videos

Updated on Aug 31, 2022 04:52 PM IST

The AAP and BJP leaders accepted the challenge for a joint inspection of the Delhi government schools, but it turned into a battle of videos

A video showed BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia entering a car as AAP supporters, led by Saurabh Bharadwaj MLA, raise slogans surrounding the vehicle. (PTI)
A video showed BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia entering a car as AAP supporters, led by Saurabh Bharadwaj MLA, raise slogans surrounding the vehicle. (PTI)

The controversy over the alleged corruption in the construction of classrooms in Delhi government schools turned into a battle of videos between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders during a joint inspection on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, while debating issues flagged by a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report on a TV channel, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia challenged AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj , saying an inspection of the 500 schools constructed by the Delhi government would show the reality. Bharadwaj invited Bhatia to visit Kautilya school in Chirag Enclave.

On Wednesday, after the visit, both Bhatia and Bharadwaj claimed the inspection vindicated their stand. And both shared videos of the melee.

Bharadwaj, the Greater Kailash MLA said that Bhatia claimed during the debate that no new school was constructed. “He came to a school at Greater Kailash-1 but did not enter the building as it was full of parents. Then we arrived at a second site where a new school is being constructed, but he just ran away. He asked me to provide the list of 500 schools . I wanted him to see each unit with me but he merely insisted that I hand over the list of 500 schools.”

Bhatia said that the AAP and Bharadwaj were running away from providing the list of 500 schools that they claim have been constructed. “I sought the list of 500 schools on multiple occasions but it was not provided. I was shown an old school that was claimed to have been built by the AAP. Their lies were caught,” Bhatia said. He added that AAP should release the list of 500 new schools so that it can be verified by everyone. “The first school that I was taken to was built in 1970. The AAP spokesperson said that the promise was to show new classrooms but the claim in the AAP manifesto was to build 500 new schools. The second school was still under construction,” he tweeted.

Bharadwaj said Bhatia should have visited more schools with him. ”He should have seen 498 more schools but he ran away,” he said, tweeting a video in which Bhatia is seen entering a car even as AAP supporters surround the vehicle and raise slogans.

The BJP alleged that the AAP government spent an inordinate amount on the construction of classrooms in its existing schools. The party also alleged that the AAP-led Delhi government promised to construct 500 new schools in the city in its election manifesto but that these were never built.

At the centre of the tussle between the AAP and the BJP lies a CVC report that flagged alleged irregularities and cost overruns in the construction of new classrooms at Delhi government schools. On August 26, Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena sought a report over the delay in action on an inquiry report by the CVC. The findings are part of a report CVC sent to the Delhi government’s vigilance department on February 17, 2020. The probe was conducted on a complaint filed by BJP MLA Vijender Gupta on July 25, 2019. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has said that the allegations are false and an attempt to prevent development of Delhi’s government schools.

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