The AAP government’s full-page advertisements announcing its decision to ensure at least one Punjabi language teacher in every school and promising higher wages for them, today attracted flak from opposition leaders who alleged that the party is wasting public money in an attempt to woo voters in Punjab ahead of elections.
In a public advertisement printed in many Hindi dailies along with few national English dailies, the Delhi government advertisement declared that in order to “boost Punjabi language” in Delhi, every school will have at least one Punjabi teacher and that their salary has been raised.
The opposition leaders attacked AAP for eyeing Punjab elections where as the Delhi Government maintained that it was just to facilitate teaching of the language in Delhi government schools and not to mandate its teaching.
“Kejriwal uses government money for full page Ad in Punjab on Punjabi Teachers and Delhi suffers strikes by government servants on non-payment of salary.
“Money spent on government Ad for Kejriwal publicity is more than to implement the announcement of hiring Punjabi teachers! Waste of Taxpayer money,” tweeted Ajay Maken, president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.
Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel also criticised the advertisement saying, “the Kejriwal government in Delhi is using Delhi taxpayers’ money for Punjab elections. When elections are coming, they see it as an opportunity to give a push to Punjabi language”.
“This has been done because the advertisements are being given in Punjab papers as well. We have never seen such misuse,” he added.
The issue was also raised in Delhi Assembly today with BJP MLAs objecting to the advertisement.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia clarified in the Assembly, “we have not made Punjabi compulsory in Delhi government schools, the move is only to facilitate Punjabi teachers so that students who wish to opt for the language do not have to drop their choice just because of lack of teacher in a particular school”.
“It usually happens that students who want to study any language for instance Urdu, have to drop the idea because there are no teachers in the school who can teach the subject. So, this is just a move to bridge that gap,” he added.
The AAP is set to contest assembly polls in Punjab, the first time it is contesting a state election after its landslide victory in Delhi in 2015.