Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann and his staff will visit Delhi government schools on Monday to see the “remarkable improvement” the Aam Aadmi Party regime has brought in them. His remarks came days after opposition parties alleged that the Punjab government was being run through “remote control” from Delhi after Mr Kejriwal held a meeting in the national capital with the state’s top bureaucrats in the absence of Mr Mann.
Addressing an event at the Thyagaraj Stadium here to celebrate Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, Mr Kejriwal said his government has improved government schools to such an extent that people from across the globe are coming to see these “remarkable changes”.
“Former American President Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump came to see Delhi government school on her visit to India. It was a moment of pride for us,” he said. Recently, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin came to see Delhi government schools, he said.
“And on Monday, April 18, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann will come to visit our government schools along with his many officials. They are coming to see how such improvements are achieved as they have to do the same in Punjab.” Mr Kejriwal said to a thunderous applause from the crowd. He also said his government improved the standard of its schools significantly which is why 3.75 lakh students moved to them from private schools.
“In the past five years, we have improved the standard of government schools to such an extent that now children of a judge, an IAS officer and a rickshawpuller are studying while sitting on a same bench,” Mr Kejriwal claimed. The Aam Aadmi Party convenor also alleged that political leaders and parties in the past “deliberately conspired” against Dalit children by keeping them uneducated.
“Our political leaders conspired against Dalits and poor. A conspiracy was hatched to keep the children of the poor illiterate. Poor were deliberately not given good education. But when we came to power, we improved the standard of government schools,” he said.
Later, the government issued a statement which quoted Mr Kejriwal as saying that he had pledged to fulfil the dreams of Babasaheb and will ensure the highest level of education for every child. The statement said that Babasaheb dreamt for every child to get the highest quality of education in the country.
“We have decided to pay the full fees of underprivileged and Dalit students through the Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana. About 13,000 students have benefitted from the scheme,” Mr Kejriwal said in the statement. Delhi’s Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said that Jai Bhim Yojana has helped thousands of children of this country realise their dreams.
“When CM Arvind Kejriwal leads the whole country then the politics of caste-religion will end and pave the way for development politics,” the statement quoted Gautam as saying. Environment Minister Gopal Rai, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain and Delhi Assembly Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla were also present. The spiritual-musical programme saw renditions of the ‘Dhamma Geet’ as well as felicitation of students coached under the Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojna, the statement said. Mr Kejriwal also launched trailer of ‘Jai Bhim’ – an animated film on the life of Dr Ambedkar, the statement said.