Lucknow, Dec 22 (PTI) Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday dared Uttar Pradesh Minister Sidharth Nath Singh to join him in a debate on the state of education in India's most populous state vis-à-vis that in the national capital.
Sisodia who reached the state capital along with Aam Aadmi Party's Uttar Pradesh in-charge and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh flung the challenge at the UP minister with a touch of drama.
He held an open debate on “State of Education – Kejriwal's Delhi Model versus Yogi's UP Model” at Gandhi Bhawan in Kaiserbagh area here, keeping a vacant chair waiting for Siddharth Singh with his name written over it and his photograph kept on it.
'I will wait for Siddharth Nath Singh and I am sure he will come forward for the debate,” Sisodia told reporters, pointing at the vacant chair.
'I will be happy to hear from the Uttar Pradesh leaders about the state of education, health, electricity in the state for the first time,' he said.
Sisodia descended upon Lucknow a week after Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal on December 15 announced his party's intention to fight various elections in Uttar Pradesh.
And a day later Sisodia said he would visit Lucknow for debate over the state of education in Delhi under the Kejriwal government and that in UP under the Yogi government.
“When the people of Delhi formed Kejriwal’s government, the situation of government schools in Delhi improved and good results started coming in,” said Sisodia. But when the people of Uttar Pradesh formed the BJP government, they have been left wondering what they have got,” he claimed.
'The fees of private schools in Delhi were not allowed to increase in five years while in UP it increased manifold. In UP, electricity prices are constantly increasing. Delhi gets electricity for 24 hours and for how much time it is coming in UP is known to everybody,' he said.
'The condition of UP has gone from bad to worse while the condition of Delhi has improved in five years and it is because the people of Delhi have chosen an honest government,' said Sisodia.
During his function here at the Gandhi Bhawan, Sisodia also showed an 18-month-old video on the condition of schools in Delhi to journalists, claiming that their condition has much more improved since Kejriwal formed the government and is much better than the conditions of schools in UP.
Sisodia later tweeted tagging Sidharth Nath Singh, saying, 'I accepted your challenge to have a debate over Kejriwal model versus Yogi model, but you went backwards over the debate. Now on the invitation of UP Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi, I am going to see a Lucknow school.' After this tweet, AAP leaders and workers went to see a government school but was stopped by the police.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Naveen Arora told PTI, 'He (Sisodia) was allowed to go to programmes for which permission was taken. And, he was going without permission (to a government school) with a number of vehicles. Hence, he was stopped.' After this, Sisodia tweeted, '(Basic) Education minister Satish Dwivedi jee, you have deployed police force and stopped me on the way to the school. You had said come and see our schools. You are worried over the revelation of the real face of your schools, and stopped (us) on the way by deploying police.' PTI ABN/NAV RAX RAX