Sisodia, Uttarakhand minister to spar over ‘development debate’ on Jan 4

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi deputy chief minister (CM) Manish Sisodia challenged Uttarakhand urban development minister Madan Kaushik for an open debate in Dehradun on development works done by both Delhi AAP government and Uttarakhand’s BJP government.

Sisodia floated the challenge on Twitter and posted, “On the invitation of open debate by minister Madan Kaushik, I would be in Dehradun on January 4.”

“I am willing to hold discussion on works done in health, education, power, water and unemployment at Dehradun’s IRDT auditorium. Also, I am inviting for a debate in Delhi on January 6,” stated Sisodia.

Minister Kaushik, while countering Sisodia’s challenge, said that he has “totally accepted his challenge for open debate but will answer him in AAP’s den- Delhi.”

“He has said that he is coming to Dehradun for the debate but I would tell him not to take so much efforts. I am preparing all the list of development works done by our government which I will show him during an open debate in Delhi. He need not come here as I will go to Delhi,” said Kaushik.

Sisodia had earlier challenged the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led government to list at least “five development works done by it in its three and a half years of tenure” during his first Dehradun visit last month.

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He had then attacked the BJP government during an event in the capital saying, “It will not be able to list any of the development work because there are none.”

“Rawat’s government is not zero tolerance to corruption government but zero work government,” said Sisodia in a jibe to Rawat’s claim of zero tolerance to corruption in Uttarakhand.

AAP’s Uttarakhand president SS Kaler on Sisodia’s visit said that “It will be good for the people of Uttarakhand to know what sort of development works this BJP government has done in its last three and a half years of tenure.”

“However, if Kaushik fails to appear for the debate on January 4, it will show that there are no works to show. We will be then be going among people to expose this government which would also enable the people to consider the development issues while voting in next assembly elections in 2022,” said Kaler.

Amid the ongoing politics on debate challenge, political expert says that it is all a “tactic by AAP to make its presence felt in state political scenario.”

“AAP which has declared to fight the next assembly election of 2022 on all 70 seats, is trying to make its presence felt with such tactics,” said MM Semwal, state-based political expert who is a professor of political science in Garhwal Central University, Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal.

“Though it seems to be difficult for it to make any significant impact in the elections, but it’s trying hard to shake the political scenario of the state with its senior leaders like Sisodia throwing challenges of debate to Kaushik who too is a very clever politician,” said Semwal.

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