Alleging that BJP leaders burned fireworks in the city on Diwali, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said it shows the party’s “poor mindset”.
Speaking at the party office, he alleged BJP leaders also asked people to burn firecrackers. “This action reflects the poor mentality of the BJP. I want to ask their leaders that if pollution level in Delhi increases, will their children and families not be harmed?… They are violating norms and promoting the burning of firecrackers,” he said.
Sale and use of traditional fireworks is banned in the city. Green crackers are allowed but are available only as sparklers and anar.
In a video shared on Twitter by BJP MP and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, he can be seen celebrating Diwali with residents of unauthorised colonies. “Green crackers are available in the market. Instead of telling people to stop burning crackers, use of green crackers should be promoted. Why go after crackers,” Tiwari told reporters.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said fewer firecrackers were burned on Diwali this year as compared to the last few years. “The people of Delhi have worked really hard to reduce pollution in Delhi… BJP should not mock the people Delhi,” he said, adding that most firecrackers were burned in NCR towns such as Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurgaon.
Air quality index in these towns was in the ‘very poor’ category Monday, higher than Delhi’s AQI and close to the ‘severe’ category, as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board. Ghaziabad’s AQI was 396, Gurgaon’s 372 and Noida’s 392.
Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta said Delhi government was trying to distract people. “Controlling pollution needs work all through the year. The AAP has not done that and now to distract people from its own failures, it is making such comments,” he said.
AAP rebel Kapil Mishra, who has now joined BJP, meanwhile waded into a controversy after he tweeted a photograph of men wearing skull caps and women wearing burkhas, along with young children, and said that if the intention was to reduce pollution, these are the “patakhas” that need to be reduced, and not Diwali crackers. The tweet was later removed by Twitter after several people reported it.