Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has said the “Dilli Ki Yogshala” scheme will be discontinued from Tuesday, in what could trigger a fresh confrontation between the AAP government and the LG.
Sources in the Arvind Kejriwal government claimed on Monday that Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has not approved the extension of the scheme after October 31.
Sources at the LG’s office, however, said they have not received any file on the continuation of the programme. They said even earlier, they had not received any file and Sisodia had only written a letter demanding that the programme be continued.
“How can we consider a letter as a proposal?” one of the sources asked.
The board of governors of the Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (DPSRU), which runs the programme, had given its nod to the continuation of the scheme at its meeting held last week.
“The ‘Dilli ki Yogshala’ classes have been discontinued from tomorrow i.e. 1.11.22 via a government order. In the BoG meeting of DPSRU decision to continue the classes was taken, however Hon. LG has not given permission yet. We will keep you informed upon further information,” said a tweet from the official Twitter page of Dilli Ki Yogshala.
Tagging the tweet on the closure of the programme, Sisodia alleged in a tweet in Hindi: “The board of the university wants that the yogshala should continue for the people of Delhi, the government has also given the budget but still, an order has been issued to close the ‘Yogshala of Delhi’ by intimidating officers. For now, 590 yoga classes in Delhi’s parks will be closed from tomorrow.” One of the sources alleged that under pressure from the LG, officers have issued orders to suspend the programme, despite the DPSRU board’s approval.
“A decision regarding the continuation and extension of the programme was taken by the DPSRU’s board of governors during its 29th meeting held on October 29,” the source said.
The BoG evaluated the merits of the programme and approved its extension under the DPSRU Act. The recommendation for its extension was to be placed for ratification before the university’s general council, chaired by the LG, the source added.
All the board members were present at the meeting. According to the sources, among the agenda items, the one for “Consideration of the Continuation of ‘Dilli Ki Yogshala’ as Outreach Programme of the University” was taken up during the meeting. “There was an in-depth discussion on this agenda item, following which it was unanimously decided to extend the programme,” a source said.
The matter was placed before the DPSRU’s general council, headed by the LG.
“However, no meeting has been called by the LG till date regarding the programme’s extension,” a source said.
The sources also alleged that the LG put pressure on certain officers to issue the order for the suspension of the free yoga classes under the programme while sitting on its file.
Sisodia had met Saxena on Friday and urged him to ensure that the AAP government’s flagship scheme was allowed to continue.
After his meeting with the LG, the deputy chief minister had said the former had promised that the related documents would be looked into and nothing wrong would be allowed to happen.
Sisodia had sought an explanation from the principal secretary, training and technical education last week, alleging that she was trying to discontinue the scheme.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “conspiring” to shut the Dilli ki Yogshala programme by putting pressure on officials.
He had also said Chief Minister Kejriwal had given his nod for the continuation of the programme and sent the file to the LG for approval.
The AAP government launched the programme last year to provide yoga instructors to the citizens of Delhi for free. Under the programme, nearly 590 yoga classes with more than 17,000 beneficiaries were being conducted across the national capital on a daily basis.