‘Respect concerns’: Delhi dy CM Manish Sisodia on being dropped from Melania Trump school event
The US Embassy said on Sunday that while it did not have any objection to the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia at a Delhi school during the visit of US First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday, it appreciated their recognition that it was not a political event. The remark came even as Sisodia said the two leaders respected the concerns raised by the embassy over their presence.
In a statement issued on Sunday evening, the US Embassy said: “While the US Embassy had no objection to the presence of CM and Deputy CM, we appreciate their recognition that this isn’t a political event and that it’s best to ensure focus is on education, school and students.”
The US First Lady will visit a Delhi government school on Tuesday to get to know about a class under the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s “happiness curriculum”.
Sisodia said on Sunday that he and Kejriwal would have “loved” to participate in the event but they respected “concerns” cited by the US embassy.
“It is a matter of great pride for Delhi government, its teachers and students that the honourable First Lady (of the US), Melania Trump, is visiting a Delhi government school. It is a big appreciation for us that the work of AAP government in education sector, especially Happiness Classes, is being recognised in the world,” said Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister and led the team which drafted the “happiness curriculum” – an initiative that is aimed at helping children meditate, learn things out of syllabus, get relief from stress and discuss issues that trouble them in personal life.
In a statement, Sisodia’s office said: “Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and education minister Manish Sisodia would have loved to personally receive the US First Lady in the Dehi government school and brief her about the concept of Happiness Classes and the positive impact that it has had on students, during her visit to the classrooms.”
“However, certain concerns were expressed by US embassy regarding CM and Deputy CM accompanying the first lady during the school visit. We respect the same. We welcome hon’ble US First Lady whole heartedly and will do our best to facilitate the tour,” it added.
Senior government officials had earlier said that the US embassy officials had initially conveyed plans to invite the chief minister and his deputy but later changed them saying it was “not a political event”.
The CM’s office was informed on Saturday morning by US officials that Kejriwal and Sisodia had not been included in the list of attendees at the school event.