Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced AAP will contest the UP polls (File)

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement that AAP will contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election has triggered high-intensity verbal duels between the leaders of his party and the ruling BJP. Mr Kejriwal on Wednesday launched an all-out attack on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his claim that the most populous state of the country has been managing the coronavirus situation better than Delhi.

“Yogi ji, our great work on the coronavirus situation is being praised in the streets and mohallas of Uttar Pradesh. Like you, we do not do fake corona tests,” he tweeted in Hindi.

On Wednesday, Yogi Adityanath compared the fatality rates of UP and Delhi, in a dig at the AAP government in the national capital.

“Despite being the most populous state, UP has given the best results for COVID-19 management. Two months ago, the state had 68,000 active cases and now it’s less than 18,000. UP has conducted the maximum number of tests; we have the lowest positivity rate and lowest mortality rate,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.  

“If you compare this to Delhi, UP has a population of 24 crore and has 8,000 deaths, while Delhi, with a population of 1.75 crore, has recorded 10,000 deaths,” he added.

Meanwhile, Manish Sisodia, Mr Kejriwal’s deputy, has said that he will visit Lucknow next week to debate with UP education minister Satish Dwivedi on the development done by the two governments in the field of education.  

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“Soon after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcements, UP ministers invited us for a debate on education. I accept the challenge and will be visiting Lucknow next Tuesday to debate on the Delhi and UP education models,” Mr Sisodia was quoted by news agency PTI as saying .

The Uttar Pradesh BJP is concentrating its attacks on Mr Kejriwal’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi – one of the worst affected cities in the country.

On Tuesday, UP Minister Sidharth Nath Singh called Mr Kejriwal “a habitual liar” and inefficient administrator.

“He is a habitual liar while his inefficient administration skills have been exposed thoroughly, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which had won 62 out of 70 seats in this year’s Delhi assembly election, is trying to expand its base in states like Punjab, Goa and now Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this week, the party won a local body seat in Goa. “This is just the beginning,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted, reacting to the party’s success. 

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