Mann, Kejriwal sign pact to replicate Delhi model on education, health in Punjab
The agreement will facilitate the two governments to learn and share their knowledge, experience and skills for public welfare.
NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH : There was a glint of a freshly injected hope in Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s eyes as he stood with his party boss Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday. The occasion: the signing of a knowledge sharing agreement between the two CMs. Punjab will now replicate Delhi’s education and health model – a promise AAP made to the Punjab voters in February Assembly polls.
“Delhi schools look like those in Canada.
Even the general wards of government hospitals are better equipped than ICUs in most hospitals. During the peak of Covid, I had arranged ventilators through MPLAD funds but had to donate them to a private hospital because the district-level hospitals did not have doctors to operate them and support ventilator patients,” said Mann.
On a two-day trip to Delhi, Mann is apprising himself of the quality of education and the state of health institutes in the national capital. The agreement will facilitate the two governments to learn and share their knowledge, experience and skills for public welfare.
“Cooperation and collaboration is the only way ahead for Delhi and Punjab. We’ll fulfil Babasaheb Ambedkar and Sardar Bhagat Singh’s dreams,” said Kejriwal. Mann was in sync. “This agreement is a watershed moment. We’ll make our state a ‘Hasta-Khelta-Rangla’ Punjab again,” he said.
Before inking the agreement, a team of Delhi ministers and officials gave an in-depth presentation on the state’s education and health models to their Punjab counterparts. They said about 25% of the total budget goes to education. The Delhi health model follows an aam aadmi approach to extend quality healthcare services from mohallas to hospitals.
Mann said 117 government schools and an equal number of ‘Mohalla Clinics’ will be set up in each assembly constituency across Punjab. He brushed aside the opposition criticism against the agreement, saying it was not one-sided.
However, Punjab’s opposition parties were critical of the agreement. SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal accused Mann of selling off the state’s interests to Delhi. “AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal has become the de-facto CM of Punjab,” he said. “It is a black day for the state. Never before in the history of the state have outsiders been given control of the state. Punjab has become subservient to Delhi, which is hardly a state,” Sukhbir said.
Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa said the agreement was akin to the Lahore Durbar move, which invited the British in 1846 to safeguard the safety of the Maharaja.