Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of spreading “white lies” and trying to “steal” credit for bringing down air pollution levels in the city which goes to the Modi government. In a press conference, Tiwari alleged that the AAP government in Delhi did not do anything to combat air pollution and also did not follow directions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) regarding the steps to check air pollution in the city.
Taking a dig at the Delhi BJP chief, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said he should take all the credit for reduced pollution in the national capital and hold Kejriwal responsible for high pollution levels in Ghaziabad and Gurgaon.
“We agree with Manoj Tiwari, let the BJP take all the credit for reducing pollution in Delhi. Let Arvind Kejriwal be responsible for rising pollution levels in Noida and Gurugram because Kejriwal is not letting Yogi ji and Khattar ji work in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana,” Bhardwaj said.
Tiwari claimed that there were facts to “expose” Kejriwal on the issue.
“There are facts to expose how Kejriwal has been taking credit for a considerable reduction in air pollution in Delhi through white lies. He should stop stealing credit for it which goes to various efforts undertaken by the Modi government since 2014,” he said.
His remarks came after the Delhi chief minister on Friday said that in the last three years, there has been 25 per cent reduction in the overall pollution level because of a slew of measures taken by the AAP government and others, including Supreme Court, Union government, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) and civic bodies.
“It is true that the pollution level has gone down in the national capital in the past three years. Arvind Kejriwal who has been taking credit for it should answer why the Green Tax fund to battle pollution remains unutilised,” Tiwari said.
The Delhi BJP chief said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be thanked for taking pollution as a challenge and taking various steps towards bringing down the pollution levels.
“Diversion of 60,000 trucks due to construction of highway peripherals, closure of Badarpur thermal plant, mechanised sweeping of roads by municipal corporations, ensuring action against polluting industries were some of the steps that were taken by the Centre to tackle pollution,” he said.
Claiming that some pollution-causing industries were running in Sonia Vihar due to “patronage” of the AAP government, the BJP leader said that CPCB’s directions were not being followed by the dispensation.
The AAP, however, refuted the allegations levelled by Tiwari.
“One more credit that can be taken by the Union government is to control the pollution due to crop burning in neighbourhood states which are ruled by the BJP and the Congress. The alarming pollution levels of Delhi in November are beyond the control of AAP dispensation and its credit can be legitimately taken by the central government,” Bhardwaj added.