Addressing school students and parents in Delhi Monday, which was also live-streamed to at least 700 city schools, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed for votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and asked parents to choose between “deshbhakti” and “Modibhakti”.
“If you ask people who they’ll vote for, they say Modiji. If you ask them why, they say because they love Modiji. Now decide whether you love your children or whether you love Modiji. If you love your children, vote for those who are working for your children. And if you don’t love your children, vote for Modiji… Modi has not built a single school for you. You can either do deshbhakti or Modibhakti. It’s not possible to do both,” said Kejriwal.
Echoing his remarks, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said: “Someone told me that they will vote for Modi in the elections…because woh achhe lagte hai…I told them that if you love your children, vote for those who are building schools for them. So I’m telling all parents, and asking all children here to go home and ask their parents whether they love you or not. If they say that they love you, tell them ‘vote for those who are building schools for us’.”
Kejriwal and Sisodia were speaking at the Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in New Friends Colony while inaugurating construction work for 11,000 new classrooms across around 250 Delhi government schools.
Kejriwal also targeted the Centre for “blocking” his government in Delhi. “It has been very difficult for us to start work on these 11,000 classrooms. Now in our fourth year, we have laid the foundation stone for these. Manishji and I had wanted to make 20,000 new classrooms in our second year itself. We weren’t allowed to do it. All the files are blocked by the central government,” he said.
“I want to make one request of all of you. You had given us 67 out of 70 seats in the Assembly because of which our hands became strong and we are able to do some of this work. But you gave all seven Lok Sabha seats to the BJP because of which we face hurdles in our work every day. When you vote this time, make our hands stronger. If you give us these seven seats, we can build 11,000 classrooms in four months, forget a year.”
Education is a top poll agenda for the AAP and with Monday’s inauguration, the Delhi government seeks to add to the existing infrastructure of 32,000 classrooms across 1024 schools. Of these 32,000 classrooms, 8,000 were built by the AAP government its first phase of school expansion work. At the foundation ceremony, Public Works Department Minister Satyendra Jain promised that the work on these 11,000 classrooms would be completed in this year.
“Today, go home and say ‘thank you’ to your parents for having voted for Aam Aadmi Party and making Arvindji Chief Minister and me, the Education Minister. If they wouldn’t have done it, how would we have worked? I want to thank all the parents sitting at the back for giving us the opportunity for doing this work and we have done it… thank you for giving us the opportunity to work on education,” said Sisodia.