Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann's visit to Delhi to study the state's model of running schools and hospitals has come under severe criticism, with the Opposition dubbing his visit as a "political drama" and a "mere photo op."
Mann, along with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi's Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and other senior officials, is on a two-day visit to the national capital to study the "Delhi model" and replicate the same in Punjab.
The team has been visiting several government schools and health institutes, including mohalla clinics since Monday morning. Before coming to power in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had promised to improve health and education infrastructure in the state in line with similar developments in Delhi.
'Visit a Deviation From Real Issues': Sidhu
However, leaders from both the Congress and Akali Dal have slammed the move.
Taking to Twitter, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu called the visit a "mere photo op for benefit in other elections & waste of state exchequer."
"CM @BhagwantMann ’s 2 day Delhi visit is a deviation from real issues, mere photo op for benefit in other elections & waste of state exchequer. Pb needs policy to get out of Financial, Farmers & Power crisis. Local problems need local solution. Solution lies in Income generation."
President of Punjab Congress, Amarinder Singh Raja, meanwhile, called out Mann saying, "In the last one month, 14 farmers of Punjab committed suicide under the AAP government. How many of these 14 farmer families did you meet @BhagwantMann sir? You go to Delhi again and again, Somewhere Delhi's corona fighting 'fail' model is not being brought here? Government will run from Delhi like this for 5 years?"
Former Education minister and Akali Dal leader, Daljit S Cheema, said that before planning the tour the CM should have visited schools in his own state to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
"Before planning a tour to study Delhi model of education @BhagwantMann should have toured his own schools first to understand their strength & weaknesses. Today’s political drama may be helpful in selling this pseudo model in poll bound states but won’t be of much help to state," he wrote in a tweet.
Mann's Visit to Schools, Mohalla Clinics
"The Mohalla Clinic in Delhi has been praised by the whole world, for the betterment of Punjab we too will learn from this model. LIVE from a Mohalla Clinic in Delhi with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal," CM Mann tweeted on Monday.
The Punjab government has already announced that it is set to open 16,000 mohalla clinics in the state. Mohalla clinics are Delhi government's flagship schemes introduced to boost primary health infrastructure in the national capital.
Talking about his visit to one of the Delhi schools, he tweeted, "Visited the School of Excellence with Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal. The education revolution of Delhi is discussed all over the country. We will also make the government schools of Punjab such a model where children of rich and poor will be able to study on one bench. Similarly, the country will move forward by learning from each other."
According to a spokesperson from the Punjab, the AAP led government in the state is also set to sign a few memoranda of understanding with Delhi in this regard.
Mann was earlier criticised by the Opposition for sending some of his senior officers for a meeting with Delhi CM Kejriwal. Countering allegations from the Opposition that the state is being run through a "remote control from Delhi," Mann had then told reporters that he had sent officers only for "training" purposes.
"If needed, for training purposes, I will send officers to Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and even Israel. Why should anyone object to it. They (Delhi government) are specialists in education, power and health. Why shouldn't I send officers," he had said, as per NDTV.
In early March, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin had visited mohalla clinics and schools run by the Delhi government.
(With inputs from NDTV.)
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