Other States

With BJP delegation visiting Delhi, AAP and BJP have a war of words

A war over development models has broken out between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as leaders of both parties continued to exchange barbs over governance in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home State of Gujarat and the AAP-ruled national capital Delhi. 

Leaders of both parties have been hurling arguments and counter arguments at each other, even as a 17-member delegation of the Gujarat BJP is on two-day visit to the national capital to “inspect” and “expose” Delhi’s development model that’s being showcased by the AAP in Gujarat, where Assembly polls are due in December this year. 

The BJP has not issued any press release or any statement regarding the visit, but several of the delegation members said they were in Delhi to “expose the fake development model” of the AAP and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

On Tuesday, the team led by the BJP’s Gujarat secretary Amit Thaker visited a mohalla clinic, a school, and some localities to “find out the truth”, said BJP’s Gujarat media convener, Yagnesh Dave, who is also part of the delegation.

Party leaders individually posted videos on their social media accounts on the “reality check” they conducted. 

In a video shared by Mr. Dave, Mr. Thaker can be seen visiting a mohalla clinic where a dog was sleeping beneath the bench, while in another video, the team can be seen pointing to a pile of garbage and an open sewer near a locality. Delegation members also shared some photos claiming they had found broken fans in government-run schools, while one school was found to have a tin roof instead of a concrete one.

On Wednesday, Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Many senior leaders of Gujarat BJP have come to see mohalla clinics and schools in Delhi. I hope that by learning from Delhi’s excellent education and health system, they will improve Gujarat as well.”  He added, “We will all learn from each other. Only then will India move forward.” 

Mr. Kejriwal deployed his party’s senior leaders to help the Gujarat BJP delegation visit the national capital and see its development. After the AAP leaders learnt of the “reality check” planned by Gujarat BJP leaders, Delhi’s Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who had earlier live-streamed his visit to some government schools in Gujarat, said that the Delhi Government had formed a team of five MLAs to escort the BJP delegation on an inspection of schools and mohalla clinics.

Moreover, Mr. Sisodia also that announced that the five AAP MLAs would visit Gujarat next week to inspect government-run schools and hospitals in the western State.

“The people of Gujarat voted for the BJP for 27 years. In return, the BJP gave such bad government schools to the children. This smart government school belongs to Asura village of Valsad district,” Mr. Sisodia said, posting pictures of the school and students on the Twitter.

While the Gujarat BJP delegation did not respond to the AAP leaders’ open invitation, the AAP on Wednesday arranged for their visit to a government school near the BJP headquarters in the national capital. 

AAP and BJP leaders have earlier exchanged words over Gujarat’s development model as the State inches towards Assembly polls. 

The AAP is trying to gain a foothold in Gujarat, where Mr. Kejriwal held five roadshows so far. After its impressive victory in Punjab, the AAP is now projecting itself as an alternative to the BJP in Gujarat, a State it has been ruling since 1998. 

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 4:10:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/with-bjp-delegation-visiting-delhi-aap-and-bjp-have-a-war-of-words/article65582699.ece