BJP members from Delhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Lok Sabha over pollution in the city, saying he has not done anything to curb air pollution and is instead blaming farmers of neighbouring states for it.
Participating in a discussion on "Air pollution and climate change", Pravesh Verma, who represents West Delhi, slammed the AAP government in Delhi for blaming stubble burning for pollution in the National Capital Region and ignoring major pollutants, including vehicles and dust.
Only three of the BJP's seven Delhi MPs took part in the debate which remained inconclusive.
Mr Verma blamed Mr Kejriwal for failing to curb pollution but was asked by the Chair not to name the Delhi chief minister.
He claimed Rs 600 crore was spent by the Delhi government on advertisements but little was done to curb pollution.
He alleged that by blaming villagers for pollution, Mr Kejriwal was only widening the urban-rural divide.
The Delhi government, Mr Verma claimed, has spent Rs 70 crore on publishing the odd-even scheme but took no action to increase the number of public transport buses.
He said that in view of poor public transport facilities, people are using personal vehicles, which is adding to the pollution.
He added that earlier the chief minister used to cough, but now the entire city and members here are coughing.
The situation in the national capital has reached such a point that 36 per cent of people want to leave Delhi, Mr Verma claimed.
He alleged that the Delhi government has not formulated an industrial policy to ensure that untreated waste is not pumped into Yamuna river.
He also accused the Delhi chief minister for purchasing 50 lakh masks "which are of no use to people in Delhi".
His party colleague Manoj Tiwari suggested that a way should be found out to punish the state which fails to take action to stop air pollution.
This will also convey to the state that it is running away from its responsibility, he said, adding the central government provides funds to buy water sprinklers.
The Delhi government should have provided funds for these sprinklers, however, it did not do so and eventually, the funds came from the central government, he added.
Mr Tiwari also alleged that the Delhi chief minister deliberately stopped Rs 9,000 crore fund for local bodies.
He said that Delhi government could have bought stubble from the neighbouring states for Rs 50 crore.
Gautam Gambhir, the BJP MP from East Delhi who was criticised for skipping a key parliamentary panel meet on pollution, said the topic of discussion is something that affects everyone irrespective of "our caste, creed, age and religion. It is affecting us while we stand and talk about it in Parliament. It''s high time we stop politicising this issue".