Sisodia says he, Kejriwal would have loved to receive Melania but respect US Embassy's concerns

PTI New Delhi, India Feb 23, 2020, 10.40 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Sisodia, who is also Delhi's education minister, said it is a matter of pride for his government that the US first lady will visit a government-run school.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Sunday that he and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would have loved to receive US First Lady Melania Trump at a Delhi government school she's scheduled to visit but he respected the concerns raised by US Embassy over it.

Sisodia, who is also Delhi's education minister, said it is a matter of pride for his government that the US first lady will visit a government-run school.

Melania, wife of US President Donald Trump, is scheduled to visit the school on Tuesday to watch "happiness classes" and interact with the students.

"Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and I would have loved to personally receive the First Lady in the Delhi Govt school and brief her about the concept of Happiness Classes and the positive impact that it has had on students, during her visit to the classrooms," Sisodia said in an official statement.

Also read: CM Kejriwal, his deputy Sisodia dropped from Melania's school event

"However, certain concerns were expressed by US embassy regarding CM and Deputy CM accompanying the first lady during the school visit. We respect the same. We welcome First Lady wholeheartedly and will do our best to facilitate the tour," he added.

According to the original schedule, Kejriwal and Sisodia were to welcome Melania at the school and brief her about the rationale behind the introduction of happiness classes as well as the Delhi government's overall reform initiatives in the education sector, officials in the city had said on Saturday.

Sources in the Delhi government said the US embassy communicated to the city administration on Saturday morning that the names of Kejriwal and Sisodia do not figure in the list of invitees for the event.

"It is a matter of great pride for Delhi Government, Delhi government teachers and students that First Lady Melania Trump is visiting a Delhi Govt school. It is a big appreciation for us that the work of AAP government in the education sector, especially Happiness Classes, is being recognised in the world," Sisodia said.