The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre sent the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct searches at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence here just after the New York Times published a positive story in its front page about the Delhi model of education, Aam Aadmi Party leaders said.
AAP national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh termed the CBI action against Sisodia 'petty thinking' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal assured of extending 'all cooperation' to the probe agency and asserted it will not find anything incriminating against his deputy.
On August 18, The New York Times published a story in the front page of its international edition titled, 'Our children are worth it', highlighting the 'broader transformation of Delhi's education system' during the AAP regime and noting that 'the overhaul of the public schools in the capital of India has students clamouring to enroll'.
Along with the story, the NYT also published a picture of Sisodia with three girl students of Delhi government schools, with the caption, "Manish Sisodia, the Delhi education minister, started the overhaul by making surprise visits to schools. Now other states in India are pushing to adopt the Delhi model."
'The day Delhi education model's praise and Manish Sisodia's photograph was published in the front page of America's largest (selling) newspaper NYT, Centre sent the CBI to Manish's residence,' Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.
'The CBI is welcome. Will fully cooperate. There have been many enquiries/raids in the past as well. Nothing came out. Still nothing will come out,' he said.
In another tweet in Hindi, the chief minister alleged the Union government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is using the central investigation agencies to raid and arrest his ministers because the education and health model of his government in Delhi is being discussed all over the world.
'The whole world is discussing the education and health model of Delhi. They want to stop it. That is why the raids and arrests on Delhi's health and education ministers,' he said in his tweet.
'Whoever tried to do good work in 75 years was stopped. That's why India was left behind. Will not let Delhi's good works stop,' Kejriwal added.
Addressing a press conference, AAP leader Sanjay Singh hit out at the prime minister over the CBI action against Sisodia, saying the investigation agency was sent to conduct searches at the Delhi education minister's residence and other locations after the NYT published a story on the Delhi model of education on its front page.
'Entire country is happy with it. Sisodia is being discussed all over the world. But our prime minister's thinking is so petty that he sent the CBI to Sisodia's residence...,' he said, calling the CBI action against the deputy chief minister 'a shame'.
Senior AAP leader and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann hailed Sisodia as the best education minister of Independent India and hit out at the prime minister over the CBI action against him, wondering how will the country progress if such things happen.
'Manish Sisodia is the best education minister of independent India. Today the largest US newspaper NYT printed his photo on the front page. And, today itself, Modi ji sent the CBI to his house,' Mann said in a tweet in Hindi, asking, 'How will India progress like this?'
AAP Rajya Sabha member from Punjab Raghav Chadha also slammed the BJP.
'The BJP's CBI has raided the residence of Manish Sisodia, hero of the education revolution. They have got many raids conducted but nothing incriminating could be found. Keep getting such raids done. We will fully cooperate in the investigation,' he said in a tweet.