By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 4 Jan: As expected, Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister MadanKaushik decided not to participate in an open debate with Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on the work done by the BJP Government over the past four years. While many did expect an open debate between the two leaders in response to the challenge thrown by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, it does appear to be a prudent decision on the part of the BJP leadership not to fall into the trap. Highly placed sources within the BJP claimed that the party High Command had asked the state BJP leadership to avoid such drama politics and not give undue importance to parties like AAP which at present have no base in state politics.
Sisodia reached the IRDT auditorium at Survey Chowk for the “Open Debate” along with a handful of AAP leaders and workers but the people did not seem much interested. Not many people were actually present in the auditorium which indicated that either people had an inkling that there would be no debate between the two leaders, or they were simply not interested.
Commenting on Kaushik evading the debate on the Kejriwal vs Uttarakhand Government Model, Sisodia claimed that it had become clear the Uttarakhand CM had not done much work in the state and that he was a “Zero Work CM.” Manish Sisodia waited for about 40 minutes for Cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik at the IRDT auditorium and, after that, left the auditorium commenting that had the Trivendra Singh Government done some work, Madan Kaushik would have participated in the debate. The BJP had run away from the contest!
Soon after this much anticipated drama, Sisodia reached a government school in Jeevanwala, Lalatappad, in the Doiwala Block, where he claimed that its ‘poor condition’ indicated that the government in Uttarakhand had no concern for the education of the common person and the buildings of the government run schools in the state were mostly dilapidated.
It may be recalled that Cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik had responded earlier to the letter from Sisodia. It was also pointed out that Sisodia’s letter was wrongly dated as January, 2020, which showed the lack of seriousness on the part of the AAP leadership regarding the debate. Kaushik claimed that BJP had not run away from any debates but these could only be held in a sincere and serious manner as discussing politics wasn’t a joke. According to party sources, the BJP leadership was of the opinion that so far AAP had no footing in state politics in Uttarakhand and, therefore, it was hardly prudent for the BJP to give undue importance to AAP and fall into its trap to get unduly noticed through such dramas.
This became obvious on Monday when BJP MLA and Chief Spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan, claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party did not have any existence in Uttarakhand nor were its leaders currently of such a stature that they be given undue weightage by the BJP leadership. Chauhan claimed that the challenge thrown by the AAP leaders for an open debate was a gimmick to somehow get publicity and find a footing in Uttarakhand politics. Chauhan further said that the BJP government was working seriously for the development of the state and did not owe any explanation to the novice leadership of AAP. Chauhan said that the first instalment of Rs 4.15 lakhs had been released in September 2020 for the renovation of the building in the primary school in Jeewanwala, where AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had gone. He further reminded the AAP leadership that schools were presently closed for a long time due to Corona pandemic.
By Arun Pratap Singh