Cong Uses Photo of Classroom Built by AAP Govt in Rahul’s Campaign
Even as the Delhi’s Vidhan Sabha elections are a good one year away, the competition between political parties has led to claiming success on education front, even if it is not their work.
On Monday, 11 March, several handles of the Congress and its party workers tweeted out a picture of a classroom with students and teachers, headlined: Congress ne hi dilli mein shiksha ko prathmikta (It is only the Congress government in Delhi which has given priority to education). The picture carries a banner of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.
The picture of the classroom was tweeted by multiple members working with different units of Congress’ IT cell, including West Bengal Congress’ Twitter handle. The tweet by West Bengal Congress’ handle saw over a hundred retweets.
Where Is the Picture Originally From Then?
The picture was first published by Hindustan Times in 2017 along with a report on the Delhi government’s Sarvodaya co-ed senior secondary school in Rohini Sector 21.
The story focused on the school’s “swanky building with 69 rooms” with facilities such as yoga room, music room, mathematics laboratory and science laboratory. The school, according to the report, was opened on 1 April 2017.
The picture was attributed to Burhaan Kinu, a photographer with the national daily.
Talking to The Quint, Kinu confirmed that he had accompanied a correspondent to the school in Rohini and had clicked the picture in August, 2017.
“I remember clicking the picture. The school is in Rohini, I remember I had accompanied the reporter. I remember it was a brand new school with spacious classes and a smart classroom. It was a functional school when we had visited,” Kinu said.
‘Congress is Using AAP’s Work For Publicity’
A day after the Congress’ claims, it was called out by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Among the first ones to object was Atishi, AAP’s Lok Sabha candidate for 2019 elections. Atishi served as advisor to Delhi’s Education Minister Manish Sisodia till April 2018.
“Wah! Delhi Congress is using a photo of the new classrooms that have been built by Aam Aadmi Party in their publicity material,” she tweeted.
The Desks Seen Are From Our Tenure: AAP
The Quint’s WebQoof team reached out to Akshay Marathe, joint secretary of AAP and a member of Delhi government's education team, who claimed that the Congress has misused the picture of a classroom built in Manish Sisodia’s tenure and passed it off as their success.
He said that the desks seen in the picture prove that it is from a classroom built by AAP. “The Delhi government used to source desks from Tihar jail before 2015. That process was very time consuming and it took very long to deliver because the production capacity was low,” Akshay Marathe told The Quint.
Marathe said that the AAP government placed orders for the new blue desks in 2016.
“We wanted to change the look and feel of government schools and make them more lively spaces for children,” he said.
‘Picture is Just Symbolic’
The Quint’s WebQoof team also reached out to Congress’ Delhi unit.
A senior member of Congress IT cell’s Delhi unit said the use of the picture in tweets is symbolic.
"The use of picture is just symbolic to convey that standards of education were raised in Delhi by Sheila Dikshit in her tenure. That's the point we were trying to make. We don't promote fake news. We have not claimed anywhere that these are classrooms built by Congress," the member said, requesting anonymity.
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