Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and the Aam Aadmi Party engaged in a war of words after a video of the Northeast Delhi MP playing cricket in Haryana’s Sonepat emerged on social media.
In the video, Tiwari was seen playing cricket on a privately-owned cricket ground in Ganaur, meeting people in a gathering and singing songs. AAP called the act “insensitive” while Tiwari said the party was “unnecessarily politcising the issue”.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, “At this time of Covid crisis, the way Tiwari went to another state to play cricket, by violating lockdown norms, is an utterly insensitive act. Every day, thousands of poor migrant labourers are walking on the streets and many of them have lost their lives due to road accidents. Ignoring such a humanitarian crisis, how can an elected public representative go to another state to play cricket?”
Tiwari hit back saying that he has not violated social distancing or lockdown norms: “The MHA permitted the opening of stadiums, without spectators. Based on that, I decided to play. All norms were followed.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, he claimed: “I had gone there to meet a few people. AAP is unnecessarily politcising this issue as they want to hide the fact their MLA Prakash Jarwal is involved in extortion, which led to a doctor committing suicide.”
He was referring to AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal, who was arrested in connection with the suicide of a South Delhi doctor last month. The family had levelled charges of extortion and harassment against the MLA, who has denied them.
Delhi BJP media in-charge Neelkant Bakshi said Tiwari went to meet someone in Ganaur, which is 30 km from Delhi, taking prior permission from police.
“Later, on the request of the owner of the ground, he went to see a cricket match. There was no plan to play. As spectators were not allowed, they offered him a chance to play,” he said.
Bakshi added that the Delhi unit chief has been helping lakhs of people since the lockdown by distributing ration.
Four Haryana districts bordering the national capital, including Sonepat, have sealed borders due to spike in Covid-19 cases.