BJP alleges massive 2,000 crore scam by Delhi Edu Minister Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal deny charges

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Monday alleged a “scam” of Rs 2,000 crore in the construction of classrooms for Delhi government schools. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal rejected the allegations and told Mr Tiwari to arrest him if it was true.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in charge of the education department, hit out at Mr Tiwari saying the BJP Delhi chief should get him arrested if he was guilty or apologise for “lying” to people whose children are getting education in good quality schools of the Delhi government.

At a press conference, the Delhi BJP chief citing a reply to a Right to Information query claimed that Delhi government with expenditure of Rs 2,892 crore has undertaken construction of 12,782 classrooms, which could have been done with a maximum spending of around Rs 800 crore.

The Delhi government is constructing classrooms of 300 square feet at a cost of Rs 24.86 lakh, he said, citing the RTI reply received by Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khuarana.

“Deputy Chief Minister and Education minister Manish Sisodia talks about construction of new school rooms. There is a scam of Rs 2,000 crore in it,” Mr Tiwari told reporters. He said the Delhi government was “misusing” taxpayers’ money and asked Mr Sisodia to step down. He also said his party will complain to the Delhi Lokayukta.

Mr Kejriwal hit back at Mr Tiwari, saying the BJP was trying to stop good education being provided by his government.

“The BJP’s CBI checked all our files but found nothing. If there is a scam, then arrest us immediately, all the agencies are with you. Why do you want to obstruct good education to the poor?” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.

In another tweet, he said, “For the first time poor children are studying in such good schools (of Delhi government) which were earlier available to rich people only. Now children of auto drivers, housemaids and labourers are becoming doctors, engineers and lawyers. BJP does not want this, so it has deliberately kept the schools in poor quality in the states ruled by it.”

Mr Sisodia posted a video presentation on infrastructure at Delhi government schools, and challenged Mr Tiwari to name 10 such schools in BJP-ruled states that could match them.