The AAP and its leaders reacted angrily to the CBI searches Friday at the home of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal spearheading the pushback against the Centre.
“Delhi’s model of education and health are being discussed all over the world. They want to stop it. That is why they are raiding and arresting our Education and Health ministers. In the past 75 years, whoever tried to do work was stopped. That is why India has been left behind. We will not let Delhi’s good work stop,” Kejriwal said in a Twitter post, shortly after CBI officers landed at Sisodia’s doorstep.
“On a day when America’s top newspaper, NYT, praises the Delhi model of education and prints the picture of Sisodia, the same day the Centre sends CBI to his house. We welcome the CBI, we will cooperate fully. Raids were conducted earlier too – they found nothing then and they will find nothing now,” he wrote.
Hours later, the Chief Minister, addressing a press conference, mentioned the campaign he had launched on Wednesday “to make India number 1”.
The party, he said, is launching a phone number to which people can give a missed call to become part of the mission.
“I want to give you some good news today. The US is the most powerful and richest country in the world. The New York Times is the biggest newspaper in that country. In yesterday’s NYT, the front page carried a story on Delhi’s education model. It says that there is an education revolution underway at Delhi government schools. It says that the schools are improving, that children from private schools are shifting to government schools. This is a matter of pride for all Indians. In this story, the main photo on the front page is that of Manish Sisodia. This is something every world leader wants,” he said.
“Today, Manish Sisodia was declared the best education minister in the world. But the CBI is raiding him. There will be several roadblocks in our mission to become the best country in the world. This is not the first raid on Manish Sisodia. There have been several false cases — against him, Satyendar Jain, and against me. They will not find anything. Let the CBI do its job, they have orders from the top,” he said.
Ever since its first election campaign in 2013, improving the quality of schools and education outcomes has been the mainstay of AAP’s politics.
Taking a cue from their chief, AAP MLAs also hit out at the BJP.
“We welcome the CBI and we will cooperate with them. There have been raids in the past as well and they haven’t found anything. They will not find anything today either. But it is very unfortunate that there has been a CBI raid on the same day that the New York Times has a front page story on the good work done in Delhi’s schools under Sisodia ji. There is only one purpose – Modi ji is afraid of the Aam Aadmi Party and this is a way to try and suppress them. Modi ji’s fight is not against corruption but against the party,” AAP MLA from Rajinder Nagar Durgesh Pathak said.
MLA Dilip Pandey called the searches an “announcement of the BJP’s fear of the Aam Aadmi Party”.
“This is a clear announcement of the BJP’s fear. They want to stop the news of the success of the education revolution in Delhi but the revolution will keep on going, that will not stop,” he said.
“If the BJP were serious about fighting corruption, why are there no raids conducted in Gujarat where there is news about drugs worth crores being found and of illegal liquor being sold?” he said.
The emphasis on the “BP’s fear” was echoed by AAP MLA from Sangam Vihar, Dinesh Mohaniya.
“Basically, the BJP is very scared of the work being done by the Aam Aadmi Party, especially in the field of education. They want to stop all these things. If people are educated, they will know how harmful the BJP’s politics are for the country. There will be no place for the BJP in the country. Their idea is to keep people uneducated. Sometimes ED, sometimes CBI, they want to derail the government,” he said.
A similar line was followed by party MLAs across constituencies in their social media handles as well.
“Today, the picture of Delhi education model and Manish Sisodia was printed in Ameica’s largest newspaper NYT. Central government sent CBI to @msisodia ji’s house. In the past also CBI raids have been conducted in the house of Health Minister and Education Minister to stop the good education and health system, but nothing was found,” Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha said in a Twitter post.