New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI) The confrontation between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena continued on Saturday as Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the L-G of making “false allegations” against the education department and “mocking” teachers working in the national capital.
Sisodia said the L-G’s letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday was written with a political motive and his “false allegations” against the education department were an “insult” to the students and teachers of Delhi.
“The L-G wrote the letter with a political motive and said no work has been done in the education department of Delhi. His allegations are an insult to the students and teachers of Delhi. I am requesting the L-G not to mock the work of our teachers, who have done wonders in the department,” Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, said in his letter to Saxena.
In his letter to Kejriwal on Friday, the L-G had tried to put the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi in the dock by raising several issues related to the city’s education sector.
He said the average attendance in government schools had been falling every year, dropping to 60.65 per cent in 2019-2020 from 70.73 per cent in 2012-2013. He also questioned the AAP dispensation’s claims on students migrating from private schools to government schools.
Responding to the allegations, Sisodia said the schools run by the Delhi government have registered a pass percentage of 99.6 and a large number of students in these schools have got good grades.
“It does not suit a person sitting in the chair of the Lieutenant Governor to write a letter mentioning false figures,” he said.
The deputy chief minister also alleged that the L-G has “defamed” the entire education system of the national capital with his statement.
“While the L-G alleged that the number of students in government schools of Delhi decreased from 16 lakh to 15 lakh, the reality is that the number of students increased to 18 lakh. Our education department has also transformed the infrastructure of the schools. The ‘tent wale schools’ have now turned into ‘talent wale schools’,” Sisodia’s letter to Saxena read.
The deputy chief minister said the AAP government has done all work in the education department in the last seven years despite the hurdles put up by the Centre and successive lieutenant governors.
“For the sake of the future of the children of Delhi, I would like to request you to cooperate in the work of the Delhi government instead of obstructing it. The Constitution has given you the responsibility of maintaining law and order in Delhi. You should allow us to do our work and utilise your time to improve the law and order in the city,” he wrote to Saxena.
Taking to social media, Kejriwal said Delhi’s teachers, students and their parents have together worked hard in the last seven years to reform the city’s education system.
“Instead of insulting the education system, the L-G should encourage them,” he said.
Referring to the L-G’s letter to Kejriwal, AAP national spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said Saxena’s statement was “derogatory”.
“The L-G’s statement was derogatory. He blatantly lied in his letter. He said the number of students in schools run by the Delhi government reduced after the AAP came to power, but the truth is that the number increased from 14.66 lakh in 2015 to 18 lakh in 2022,” he said.
Bharadwaj claimed that even children of the poor have been excelling in education by studying in the city government schools.
“Even children of the poor in Delhi have been excelling in studies. The L-G has been defaming the work done by our government. When students go for job interviews, they proudly say that they studied in Delhi government schools,” he said.
Accusing L-G of acting at the behest of the BJP, senior AAP leader Atishi alleged that Saxena is “acting like BJP spokespersons” who appear on television news debates and “peddle lies”.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh hit out at the L-G for not confirming the employment of ‘guest teachers’ and instead calling them “ghost teachers”.
Senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey said, “L-G Saxena claimed to have allotted 13 plots to the Delhi government for building new schools. The reality is the L-G has not given the possession of four out of 13 plots to the AAP government.
“Two plots were encroached by land mafia. The plots were vacated with the help of local MLAs and officials of the education department, and now schools are being built there,” he added.