Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday blamed the BJP and RSS for the January 1 casteist riots in Koregaon-Bhima which claimed one life. The Aam Aadami Party supremo said that “if people want riots, then they should elect the BJP, which follows a specific pattern in this”. He alleged that BJP-RSS workers attacked Dalits in the Pune village of Koregaon-Bhima which led to caste tensions all over Maharashtra subsequently, including a statewide shutdown on January 3. Kejriwal, who was on a day’s Maharashtra tour, addressed a public rally at Sindkhedraja, the birthplace of Rajmata Jijabai, the mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in Buldhana district.
He also targetted state Education Minister Vinod Tawde, “for shutting down thousands of schools permanently,” and said those who can’t run schools, how can they be expected to run the state government efficiently. Incidentally, Kejriwal has earned kudos for improvements and empowerment of public schools in Delhi state. “Maharashtra is the land of great personalities like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule, who dedicated their lives to the education of women and children. They started India’s first school for children but the BJP led government here is shutting down thousands of schools,” he said. He urged the people to think whether they had they voted the BJP-led government to shut down schools.
The Delhi CM alleged that the BJP in Maharashtra had “crushed” the dreams of the Phules and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by its actions. He stressed the need for the Maharashtra government to allocate more funds to the education sector, considering its annual budget is Rs 3 lakh crore, as compared to the Delhi budget of Rs 48,000 crore. Accusing the Maharashtra government of corruption, Kejriwal said: “You have to choose between riots or food, employment, education and peace. If you want riots, then vote for the BJP.” He highlighted the achievements of the Delhi Government in the education, power and farming sectors and lamented the plight of farmers in Maharashtra. On the occasion, Col. Sudhir Sawant (Retd), a former Congress Member of Parliament from Konkan, joined the AAP.