BJP levels fresh allegations, Sisodia responds with defamation notices
The political fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party over construction of new classrooms in Delhi intensified on Wednesday with the saffron party levelling fresh allegations at the ruling party and Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia responding with defamation charges against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and others.
The Delhi BJP on Wednesday alleged that the budget for construction of nursery classrooms was increased by Rs 100 crore on “verbal” orders, which is “illegal”.
Demanding the resignation of Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the Delhi government increased budget allocation for classrooms by Rs 105 crore on verbal orders.
Tiwari said the Delhi government constructed 366 nursery classrooms at the cost of R28.70 lakh rupees per classroom, excluding furniture.
“On December 2, 2015, a budget allocation of Rs 221.44 crore was made but subsequently, by an oral order it was raised to Rs 326.36 crore, which is against the rule and can be classified as corruption. How can budget allocation be raised so much without any written order? This shows that the government has committed some serious corruption,” Tiwari said in a press conference. On Monday, Tiwari had claimed there has been a “scam” of Rs 2,000 crore in the construction of classrooms in Delhi government schools.
Responding to the BJP’s allegations, Sisodia on Wednesday issued legal notices of defamation to Tiwari, BJP’s leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and party MP Parvesh Verma. Sisodia accused them of defaming him through “offending publications”
based on “cooked up” allegations and sought their “unqualified” apology.
Reacting to Sisodia’s defamation notice, Tiwari said that the BJP will not bow down to “pressure tactics”, and will file a complaint with the Lokayukta.
Gupta said while the average pass percentage of 10th standard in private schools of Delhi was 93.18%, in Delhi government schools it was 71.58%. “It is also below the national average of 91.10%. He said 70% posts of principals and 51% posts of teachers are vacant in government schools,” he said.
AAP spokesperson and MLA from Greater Kailash Saurabh Bhardwaj said the party is “thrilled” that the BJP and its related organisations have started thinking about education system. “However, I am surprised that the party’s so-called think-tank does not know that all the recruitment in Delhi government are handled by BJP’s LG,” he said, adding that the government’s other departments are also facing staff shortage because several posts are lying vacant.
“Though AAP has been in power in Delhi for 4.5 years, we are ready to compare the data of Delhi government schools with that of government schools in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh where BJP has ruled for 15 years. We challenge the BJP to bring out data of such states ruled by them for 15 years. Let there be a healthy debate,” Bhardwaj said.
AAP supporters on Wednesday protested outside Tiwari’s residence in New Delhi.