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Why Is BJP Accusing AAP of 'Classroom Scam'? How Has AAP Responded?

BJP alleged that Delhi government hiked the budget for the construction of classrooms, ignoring CPWD's guidelines.

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Edited By :Ahamad Fuwad

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday, 29 August, targeted the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, alleging a scam in the Delhi education department.

In a press conference on Monday, BJP's national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said that the Delhi government increased the budget for the construction of classrooms in its existing schools, ignoring the Central Public Works Department's guidelines.

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WHAT DID THE BJP ALLEGE?

'Cost of Construction Hiked by Rs 326 Crore'

The BJP cited a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report alleging that the Kejriwal government increased the cost of construction by Rs 326 crore without floating a new tender. Bhatia further said that the hiked amount is 53 percent more than the original tender amount.

The report was sent to the Delhi government's vigilance department in 2020.

'Construction Cost Increased by Up To 90 Percent'

"The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government promised to construct 500 new schools in Delhi. That never happened. They then said they will build more classrooms in the existing schools. The number of rooms was increased from 2,400 to 7,180. The construction cost was increased by up to 90 percent," he alleged.

Bhatia also claimed that the number of additional classrooms built was less than the assessed requirement.

"Only 4,027 additional classrooms were constructed against the assessed requirement of 6,133 classrooms," Bhatia said.

'Counted Toilets as Classrooms'

Adding to the list of allegations in 'Classroom Scam,' Bhatia said that the AAP government in Delhi counted toilets as classrooms to inflate figures related to school infrastructure.

As many as 1,214 toilets were constructed in 194 schools against the requirement of 160 toilets at an extra expenditure of approximately Rs 37 crore, reported news agency PTI, citing sources.

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'Only Two Rainwater Harvesting Systems Installed'

Yet again citing the CVC report, the saffron party leader said that only two rainwater harvesting systems were found installed, against the public works department's claim of 29.

"The sanctioned amount for these projects was Rs 989.26 crore. The award value of all the tenders was Rs 860.63 crore. However, the actual expenditure went up to Rs 1,315.57 crore," Bhatia alleged.

BJP leader Adesh Gupta also alleged that the Delhi government did not make the CVC report public for two-and-a-half years.
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HOW THE AAP RESPONDED?

Responding to the BJP's allegation citing the CVC report, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said:

"Now that they have not got anything on the 'liquor scam', they have started targeting us, asking why we constructed extra classrooms and extra toilets," Kejriwal said in the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

"Yes, we constructed more toilets in government schools for our daughters. What wrong did we do? We want to provide good and quality education to students of Delhi," he added.

"They did not find anything in the (CBI) raid but they will still arrest (Deputy Chief Minister Manish) Sisodia. Now the excise case is over so classrooms are in focus," Kejriwal said.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  Aam Aadmi Party   BJP    Arvind Kejriwal 

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