Dehradun, Jan 4 (PTI) An Uttarakhand minister who had “accepted” Delhi Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia’s challenge to an open debate skipped the event on Monday, prompting the AAP leader to claim that the BJP had nothing to show for its four years in power in the hill state.
The chair kept at the dais at the IRDT auditorium here for Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik remained empty even as Sisodia attacked the state government for allowing corruption to flourish right under its nose.
'If it had really done something for development, the minister would have come for the debate. He has not shown up because they have not done anything. Corruption is all that has happened in the state in the nearly four years of their rule,' Sisodia alleged.
'I would have been happy if there was an open debate. I wish a day comes when leaders of political parties sit in front of each other and discuss things openly. This is good for democracy, ' said Sisodia, who had dared Kaushik for a debate on the development models of Delhi and Uttarakhand governments.
Sisodia said when Kaushik accepted his invitation, the minister rose in his esteem as he thought he stood for democracy in which debate is important.
'But his non-appearance shows that the claims of development made by him are confined only to government files and there is nothing on ground,' he said.
Kaushik had written to Sisodia in response to his invitation on Sunday, rejecting Delhi's model of development. Though he had accepted his invitation, the letter also threw up hints that he may not appear for the debate.
'Politics is a serious subject not a theatre show,' Kaushik had said in the letter.
Alleging that in the last nearly four years of the BJP government in the state only corruption had thrived, the AAP leader mentioned BJP MLA from Lohaghat Puran Singh Fartyal who had attacked his own government for corruption, accusing it of stalling development work in his constituency to favour a contractor.
He also spoke about Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat's OSD who is facing money laundering charges.
Struggling to get a foothold in Uttarakhand which will go to the polls next year, AAP has increased its activities in the state with Sisodia making frequent feedback visits.
He has visited Dehradun twice in less than a fortnight besides paying a visit to Nainital and Haridwar, interacting with party workers and a cross section of people.
During his last visit to the state, Sisodia had said AAP will contest all 70 Assembly seats in 2022 and implement the Kejriwal model of development in the state if voted to power. PTI ALM RDK RDK