New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia are unlikely to accompany First Lady Melania Trump to a government school in the national capital for a “happiness class” during the Trumps’ India visit next week, ThePrint has learnt.
According to sources in the Delhi government, the names of both Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders have been dropped from the planned school event, and they are unlikely to attend.
The US embassy is preparing Trump’s itinerary in consultation with the Union Ministry of External Affairs, said the sources.
The move comes two days after it was reported that Trump is likely to attend a “happiness class” in a Delhi government school Tuesday and also see the AAP regime’s other initiatives in school education. ThePrint had reported about the proposal coming directly from the First Lady’s team under her “Be Best” initiative, which focuses on major issues facing children of today.
Sources had earlier said both the leaders were to attend the programme since the school comes under the Delhi government.
Speaking to reporters Saturday after he visited a government school in his constituency of Patparganj, Sisodia said, “We have got a request from them (from the US embassy). We have told them that if they want to come, they are welcome. But I can’t tell you details about the school.”
However, he didn’t make a comment on whether he’ll be attending the event.
‘Pettiness and jealousy’
As reports poured in over the latest developments, AAP alleged that it was the BJP-led Modi government’s plan to drop the two from the VVIP event.
On Saturday, AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon tweeted: “There is no match for the pettiness of @narendramodi. You may not invite @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia but their work speaks for them.”
— Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) February 22, 2020
Party spokesperson Nimmi Rastogi also took to Twitter to express her angst, alleging “jealousy” on the part of PM Modi behind the decision.
Modi Gov's decision to keep @ArvindKejriwal & @msisodia out of @MELANIATRUMP visit reeks of pettiness & jealousy. These are the exact traits we teach our kids to stay away in happiness classes.They could learn magnanimity & gratitude from our tiny tots. It wl serve them well.
— Nimmi Rastogi (@nimmirastogi) February 22, 2020
The “happiness curriculum” in Delhi government schools was introduced by Manish Sisodia two years ago in an attempt to reduce stress among schoolchildren. The happiness classes involve 40 minutes of meditation, relaxation and outdoor activities.
In the run-up to the Delhi assembly elections, the BJP repeatedly questioned AAP’s school initiatives.
In response to AAP’s allegations, BJP leader Sambit Patra said Saturday, “There shouldn’t be low-level politics on some issues. India comes under disrepute if we start pulling each other’s legs. The Indian government doesn’t influence the US, as to whom they invite or not.”
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania, along with their family, are scheduled to visit India on a two-day tour starting Monday.
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