Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty on Sunday refuted the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that officials from his state had visited a school in Delhi to learn about the party’s “education model”.

On Saturday, AAP MLA Atishi said that she had hosted officials from Kerala at a school in Kalkaji area. “They were keen to understand and implement our education model in their state,” she said. “This is [AAP chief] Arvind Kejriwal government’s idea of nation building. Development through collaboration.”

Atishi is the MLA from the Kalkaji constituency in Delhi.

To this, Sivankutty said that the Kerala education department had not sent any officials to Delhi for this purpose. He said that on the contrary, the government had assisted officials from Delhi who visited the southern state to study the “Kerala model” last month. “We would like to know which ‘officials’ were welcomed by the AAP MLA,” he said.

In response, Atishi referred to a press release by the Delhi government, which stated that the persons who visited the school in Delhi were “renowned educationists and dignitaries” Victor TI and M Dinesh Babu.

While the former is the Regional Secretary of the Central Board of Secondary Education’s School Management Association, the latter is the treasurer of the Confederation of Kerala Sahodaya Complexes. Atishi did not offer a clarification on her claim that Victor and Babu were “keen to understand and implement our education model in their state”.

“Dear Sivankutty ji, It would have been good if you had done a fact check before tweeting on this issue,” the AAP MLA said. “You might want to have a look at our press release to see what we actually said!”

In response, Sivankutty said that he had questioned Atishi claim that the two persons who visited the school in Delhi were “officials from Kerala”. He also referred to a Facebook post by the AAP’s Kerala unit, which expressed regret for the claim.

The Kerala education minister added that no association could take decisions on matters pertaining to education in the state.

“Kerala has set a remarkable model in the field of public education,” he said. “...I firmly believe that, in this matter, what we need is not controversy, but comradeship.”

Commenting on the matter, Harish Khurana, a spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi, called Atishi a “factory of lies”. He said that like her tweet, the “Kejriwal model” has been built on lies. “Till when will Kejriwal deceive the country through such fraud?” he asked.