Gujarat govt distributes school bags with pictures of Akhilesh Yadav!

Gujarat govt distributes school bags with pictures of Akhilesh Yadav!
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat faced a major embarrassment on Tuesday as local administration in tribal dominated Chhota Udepur district distributed school bags to children carrying a picture of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav!

Every year, the state government distributes educational kits, including bags, as part of its initiative ‘Shala Pravesh Utsav’, to increase enrollment of students from socially and economically poor background to the schools.

This year too, over 12,000 bags were distributed in Chhota Udepur with a sticker carrying logo Jilla Shikshan Shakha (District Education Department), Chhota Udepur, 2017-18. However, some teachers at a school in Vasedi village were surprised to see that on peeling the sticker on the top, another sticker with the picture of smiling Akhilesh with slogan Khhob padho, khoobbadho (Educate a lot, progress a lot), revealed itself from beneath.

Akhilesh’s SP government is said to have sanctioned over 1.8 crore school bags for distribution to school children in the last year. However, many of these bags remained undistributed as model code of conduct came in to effect with announcement of Assembly polls in UP. Though his successor Yogi Adityanath continued with distribution of school bags carrying stickers of Akhilesh, some of these bags appear to have now made their way to Gujarat. And this is what has left the BJP government in Gujarat red-faced.

The state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama announced an enquiry in to the matter and promised “action” against those responsible for faux pas. In fact, Chudasama said that the bags were sourced by e-tendering during the rule of Congress in Chhota Udepur panchayat. The bags are learnt to have been sourced from a Surat-based firm - Chhotalal Pvt Limited at a cost of Rs 124 per bag. “The true picture would emerge after the enquiry though,” Chudasama said.

The Congress on its part, hit out at BJP government stating that the district may be under Congress rule but the scheme is implemented by the state government. “The education department is responsible for this goof up and it is nothing but an example of corruption by BJP in the state,” Manish Doshi, Congress spokesperson, said.

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