The Lt Governor had questioned the proposal to send teachers abroad for training.
The feud between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government and Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, the representative of the BJP-led government at the centre took its latest prickly turn on Friday with a terse memo involving a proposal to send teachers abroad for training.
“The Lt Governor should not become an obstacle in teachers’ training. He must clear the proposal immediately. The Lt Governor must obey the Supreme Court’s orders. According to the court, the Lt Governor cannot ask for all files of the Delhi government,” the AAP government said, resending the file.
Mr Saxena, who was appointed to the position last year following a stint at the Khadi and Village Industries Commission where he stoked controversy for replacing Mahatma Gandhi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the organisation’s annual calendar, had sent the proposal back earlier.
The reiteration of the proposal by the Delhi government comes after the Lt Governor wrote to Mr Kejriwal denouncing what he called “substantially misleading, untrue and derogatory statements” about him, catering to a low level of discourse.
“As to ‘who is LG’ and ‘where did he come from’, etc can be answered if you were to even cursorily refer to the Constitution of India. Others do not deserve a reply, since they obviously cater to a very low level of discourse,” Mr Saxena wrote in a pungent four-page letter.
The exchange comes amid Mr Kejriwal’s charge that the Lieutenant Governor has blocked the teachers’ training visit to Finland and that he refused to meet with AAP MLAs who marched in protest to his house earlier this week.
Mr Saxena said he had invited the Chief Minister and his deputy, Manish Sisodia, for talks, but they chose to come to him with 80 people and went on to “make a convenient political posture that LG refused to meet me”.
Earlier this week, Mr Kejriwal had, in an all-out attack on Mr Saxena in the Delhi assembly, described him as a “headmaster” checking his homework.
The Lieutenant Governor said he felt it proper to bring some issues to Mr Kejriwal’s attention, so as to help him comprehend them and deal with them in a “real and comprehensive” manner.
“In doing so, I am not acting as a headmaster, as you have been sarcastically referring to me, but as a benign yet conscientious voice of the people that derives its sanctity from the ethical and moral moorings of the Constitution of India,” Mr Saxena wrote.
The Lieutenant Governor said he had flagged that no new schools had been built in Delhi in the last eight years, despite land being allotted to the Delhi education department.
Countering AAP’s claims of unprecedented improvement in education in Delhi, he said the performance of about a third of the students is “barely basic”.
Mr Saxena reasserted that he never rejected the Finland training tour for teachers but had raised questions about a “more cost-effective” option.
“You are indeed a driven person, and I am sure that you will take cognizance of the facts stated above and take remedial measures to engage meaningfully and constructively to rectify the grave shortcomings, for better outcomes,” he wrote.
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