Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday praised Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia as the "best education minister of Independent India" as he slammed the CBI raid at the latter's residence over the new Excise Policy.
On August 18, The New York Times published a story on the front page of its international edition titled, 'Our children are worth it', highlighting the "broader transformation of Delhi's education system" during the Aam Aadmi Party regime and noting that "the overhaul of the public schools in the capital of India has students clamouring to enrol".
"Manish Sisodia is the best education minister of Independent India. Today the largest US newspaper NYT (The New York Times) printed his photo on the front page. And today, (PM Narendra) Modi Ji sent CBI to his house. How will India progress like this?" Mr Mann said in a tweet in Hindi.
Other ministers in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab too attacked the BJP-led Centre following the CBI raid at Mr Sisodia's house.
However, the opposition Congress in Punjab claimed the AAP was "crying wolf" over CBI raids whereas they "have been using the vigilance department against Congress leaders in the state on flimsy grounds".
"Reaping the whirlwind. What you sow, so shall you reap. Aam Aadmi Party crying wolf over CBI raids at Manish Sisodia's residence over liquor licencing bungling lacks moral authority. You have been using Vigilance Department against Congress leaders on flimsy grounds," Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring tweeted.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia said "skeletons in AAP closets will tumble out" and linked the Delhi government's now-retracted excise policy to the one being followed in the AAP-ruled Punjab.
"Skeletons are likely to tumble out of cupboards as the flawed monopolistic Delhi excise policy was implemented in Punjab also," he told reporters at Baba Bakala.
Leader of the Opposition in Punjab and senior Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa said the AAP must recognise that "it has a corruption problem" and start dealing with it in-house before pointing fingers at others.
"Now Manish Sisodia is under the CBI scanner for making a fortune from the new excise policy in Delhi that has now been withdrawn! For a party that claims to be clean, its big leaders seem to be continuously caught in cases of corruption," he tweeted.
"The Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal Ji have always proudly stated that they are the only clean politicians in India while every other party is corrupt. In fact, I believe they have no grasp of the truth!" Mr Bajwa said in another tweet.
Another senior Punjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the US paper had done a story on the Delhi education model on "inside pages a few days ago".
"Apparently to play it big, Kejriwal and his team went around claiming it to be the front-page news story which it was not… Many people do read US newspapers and they have exposed their lie," Mr Khaira said.
The Congress MLA from Bholath said, "The NYT did a story on inside pages in its August 17 issue, while the AAP circulated photoshopped copies of August 18, showing it on the front page."
Meanwhile, Punjab ministers attacked the Centre over the CBI raid.
"The day number one Newspaper of the number one country in the world recognises Delhi govt's Education Model and Manish Sisodia Ji as best education minister ever, same morning CBI is sent to Manish ji's house by shameless BJP. It proves the BJP doesn't want India to have perfect government schools," Punjab's Minister of School Education Harjot Singh Bains said in a tweet.
This was echoed by by Punjab Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra and state Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema who claimed that the BJP is "rattled" since Mr Sisodia has "made India proud".
Another Punjab Minister, Aman Arora took a dig at the BJP-led Centre, saying, "This is a clear reflection of how much the BJP is scared of Arvind Kejriwal ji's growing popularity".
"But they must realise that the more they hit, the more we rise and shine," Mr Arora tweeted.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)