Lt Governor vs Arvind Kejriwal

Vinai Saxena said he had invited the Delhi Chief Minister and his deputy for talks. (FILE)

New Delhi:

Sparring between Delhi’s two top decision-makers intensified today as Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal denouncing what he called “substantially misleading, untrue and derogatory statements” on him, catering to a low level of discourse.

“As to ‘who is LG’ and ‘where did he come from’, etc can be answered if you were to even cursorily refer to the Constitution of India. Others do not deserve a reply, since they obviously cater to a very low level of discourse,” Mr Saxena wrote in a pungent four-page letter.

The letter mainly refers to Mr Kejriwal’s charge that the Lieutenant Governor has blocked a teachers’ training visit to Finland and that he refused to meet with AAP MLAs who marched in protest to his house earlier this week.

Mr Saxena said he had invited the Chief Minister and his deputy, Manish Sisodia, for talks, but they chose to come to him with 80 people and went on to “make a convenient political posture that LG refused to meet me”.

“I would have, indeed, loved to have you over and served you lunch as well,” Mr Saxena’s letter said.

“You would appreciate that, given the short notice and sudden demand on your part, it would not have been possible to at once have a meeting with 70-80 people, nor would it have served any concrete purpose.”

The Lieutenant Governor added caustically: “I was rather astounded at the fact that even as the city is grappling with several serious developmental issues, you found time to walk for long and stage a protest meant solely for posturing, rather than taking the issue to a logical conclusion by meeting me.”

Mr Kejriwal had, in an all-out attack on Mr Saxena in the Delhi assembly, described him as a “headmaster” checking his homework. (HYPERLINK)

The Lieutenant Governor said he felt it proper to bring some issues to Mr Kejriwal’s attention, so as to help him comprehend them and deal with them in a “real and comprehensive” manner.

“In doing so, I am not acting as a headmaster, as you have been sarcastically referring to me, but as a benign yet conscientious voice of the people that derives its sanctity from the ethical and moral moorings of the Constitution of India,” Mr Saxena wrote.

The Lieutenant Governor said he had flagged that no new schools had been built in Delhi in the last eight years despite land being allotted to the Delhi education department. “Adding classrooms in existing schools and counting toilets as classrooms do not, by any stretch of imagination, among to opening new schools,” he wrote.

Countering AAP’s claims of unprecedented improvement in education in Delhi, he said the performance of about a third of the students is “barely basic”.

There is “rampant math and science phobia” among Delhi school students and only a fraction in Class 12 is studying science, he said.

Mr Saxena reasserted that he never rejected the Finland training tour for teachers but had raised questions about a “more cost effective” option.

“You are indeed a driven person, and I am sure that you will take cognizance of the facts stated above and take remedial measures to engage meaningfully and constructively to rectify the grave shortcomings, for better outcomes,” he wrote.

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