MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, today marched to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena's home in a show of protest against what they called Mr Saxena's interference in the Delhi government's decisions. AAP accuses the Lieutenant Governor of blocking a plan to send Delhi school teachers to Finland for training. The Lieutenant Governor's office has, however, denied rejecting any plan and has said he only advised the state to record a cost-benefit analysis.
"It's a government elected by Delhi's people. It's Delhi taxpayers' money. For the education of Delhi's. What problem does the LG have?" Arvind Kejriwal questioned. He and other AAP MLAs carried placards reading: "Mr LG, allow the teachers to go to Finland".
Just as the AAP march approached his home, the Lieutenant Governor denied scrapping the Delhi government plan, saying, "Any statement on the contrary is deliberately misleading and mischievously motivated. The government has been advised to evaluate the proposal in totality and record the cost benefit analysis in terms of impact on quality of education being provided to students, so as to assess the effectiveness of various foreign training programmes for teachers undertaken in the past."
Mr Saxena's office said he has also advised examining and identifying similar training programmes within the country, "to ensure optimal utilisation of resources, fiscal prudence and administrative effectiveness".
The march was stopped before it could reach the LG's residence. Mr Kejriwal said the Lieutenant Governor called him and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to meet, but it was not acceptable as all MLAs wanted to meet him.
According to Arvind Kejriwal, the Lieutenant Governor refused to meet all the MLAs and ministers.
"It is an insult to two crore people that he refused to meet our MLAs and ministers. We will decide the next strategy," Mr Kejriwal said, as the march turned back and left.
Arvind Kejriwal, later in a tweet, said if he never rejected the Finland training proposal, would he immediately write him a letter saying he has no objection.
"Hon'ble LG saying he never rejected teachers' Finland training proposal.
If that is the case, Hon'ble LG may kindly write me a letter immediately saying that he has no objection to the teachers' training proposal in Finland and the matter will be over?" he tweeted.
Hon'ble LG saying he never rejected teachers' Finland training proposal.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 16, 2023
If that is the case, Hon'ble LG may kindly write me a letter immediately saying that he has no objection to the teachers' training proposal in Finland and the matter will be over?
"It's unfortunate that the Delhi Chief Minister and AAP MLAs have to march to the LG office. I hope the LG will see his mistake and allow teachers training in Finland," Mr Kejriwal told reporters at the march.
Referring to a 2018 Supreme Court order, he also alleged that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor cannot take independent decisions.
AAP legislator Saurabh Bhardwaj had in the assembly earlier today initiated a discussion on calling attention motion on the issue of "Illegal and unwanted obstructions and interferences in the education of children and training of teachers".
The assembly echoed with slogans of "let teachers go to Finland", "allow teacher training", and "let the poor's children study".
Ruling AAP and opposition BJP MLAs had a verbal spat leading to the adjournment, after which Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at Mr Saxena, saying he has no authority to interfere in his government's functioning.
The assembly saw repeated adjournments on the first day of its three-day session, and hardly 10 minutes of proceedings could be held.
The Delhi government's works are being deliberately impeded for political reasons, Mr Kejriwal alleged, and added that "the LG is not our headmaster to check our homework. He has to say yes or no to our proposals".