Days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir was slammed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for skipping a key meeting of a parliamentary committee on national capital’s air crisis, 'Missing' posters of the cricketer-turned-politician were spotted in Delhi's ITO area.
The parody missing posters that read 'Lapata' or 'Missing' along with a photo of Gambhir were found pinned to the trees in central Delhi. Under the image, read a message, "Have you seen this man? He was last spotted in Indore having jalebis. Entire Delhi is looking for him.”
Gambhir, who was in Indore as a commentator for the India-Bangladesh cricket fixture, gave the meeting organised to address the noxious pollution engulfing Delhi a miss.
Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman shared a photo on Friday where Gambhir is seen having jalebis. Hitting out at Gambhir, the Aam Aadmi Party, in a tweet, said while MPs like him were busy enjoying, AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh attended the meeting.
"Gautam Gambhir, is this the level of your seriousness regarding air pollution?" the Arvind Kejriwal-led party questioned.
Delhi is choking & @GautamGambhir is busy enjoying in Indore.
The MP should come to Delhi and ATTEND MEETINGS on AIR POLLUTION which was cancelled because
❌MP's of Delhi
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 15, 2019
As a response to the allegations, Gambhir released a statement on twitter saying his work spoke for him, alongside a note that read if by abusing him, Delhi's pollution levels came down, then the AAP was free to do so.
My work will speak for itself!
P.S. Agar mujhe gaali dene se Dilli ka pollution kam hoga to AAP jee bhar ke gaali dijiye. cc: Trolls pic.twitter.com/bRyYoFB02c
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) November 15, 2019
Gambhir’s tweet received sharp criticism from AAP’s Atishi Marlena who criticised Gambhir for ignoring the city for "earning a living".
Our Hon'ble MP claims he skipped a meeting on air pollution in order to earn a living
In the same breath, he says he pledges his salary as an MP for his constituency
— Atishi (@AtishiAAP) November 15, 2019
Apart from Gambhir, DDA vice-chairman Tarun Kapoor and all three Municipal Corporation of Delhi commissioners were also missing from the meeting. As many as 24 MPs from various parties did not attend the meeting. Gambhir, the lone BJP leader from Delhi in the committee, snowballed into a political row as the AAP hit out at the saffron party over the issue and questioned its seriousness in tackling the crisis.
According to sources, the members of the panel who attended the meeting were extremely upset with the absence of the environment secretary, the DDA chairman and officials of the three municipal corporations of the national capital and planning to raise the issue with the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The panel members told junior officials to convey to their seniors that they should have attended the meeting, the sources said. Asked about the absence of ministry officials from the meeting, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said he would find out the details and investigate. "We are always very serious about pollution. I have emphasised that pollution is not only Delhi's problem. I have ordered a joint action plan. Teams are working with coordination," he said.
The meeting came after the Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Delhi government over its Odd-Even scheme to tackle pollution, calling it ‘half-baked’ and despite its implementation, pollution levels were on the rise.
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Updated Date: Nov 17, 2019 13:51:35 IST