Rival leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP fought on camera on the streets of Delhi today, outside schools.
AAP’s Saurabh Bharadwaj and BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia both tweeted videos that showed their version of the brawl.
The trigger is the BJP’s claim of a “school scam” involving allegations that the Arvind Kejriwal government inflated the cost of rebuilding schools in the capital and misused funds. The party also accuses the AAP government of falsely promising 500 new schools, which were never really built.
Gaurav Bhatia today visited a school on the invite of Saurabh Bharadwaj; he had challenged the AAP government to take him to a “single school” built by them.
The AAP spokesperson, sharing his video, claimed the BJP leader refused to enter the school and “ran away”. The video showed Mr Bhatia getting into his car amid slogan-shouting by a group apparently of AAP supporters. “Bhaag gaye (He’s running away),” Mr Bharadwaj was heard saying.
“We told him there are 498 more schools, let us see them, but he refused and fled,” Mr Bharadwaj wrote in his tweet.
— Saurabh Bharadwaj (@Saurabh_MLAgk) August 31, 2022
The BJP leader, in turn, posted another video from outside the school.
“He (the AAP leader) took us to one school built in 1966. We have come to a second school that is unfinished. This is the reality after eight-and-a half years. Thanks, the truth has come out,” Mr Bhatia said in the video, as Mr Bharadwaj kept countering him.
भाग केजरीवाल भाग 🤣
यह दूसरा स्कूल था जहां आप के प्रवक्ता ले कर गए
वादा 500 स्कूल बनाने का था
पहला पुराना स्कूल आप सरकार द्वारा नहीं बनवाया गया है
दूसरा स्कूल आप प्रवक्ता खुद मान रहे हैं अभी बन रहा है
— Gaurav Bhatia गौरव भाटिया (@gauravbh) August 31, 2022
Speaking to NDTV, Mr Bharadwaj said the BJP leader had challenged him during a TV debate and had said he would visit schools.
“When we arrived at 11 am, he didn’t enter the school. I showed him new blocks in the school. When we reached the second school he didn’t even exit the car – he came out only because of the cameras. I showed him new blocks in the school. Students were telling him the schools have changed. We have made more than 500 schools and 20,000 new classrooms,” the AAP spokesperson said, adding that he would gladly show these to BJP MPs and MLAs.
The AAP and the BJP have been fighting for weeks after the CBI raided Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia over allegations of corruption in the Delhi government’s liquor policy.
AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the Centre of hounding his ministers out of resentment over the praise for his government’s work in health and education. He has also alleged that the BJP is trying to break his party and dislodge his government by offering Rs 20 crore to his MLAs to switch parties.
The BJP hit back with allegations of more “scams”.