Gautam Gambhir's Retort To AAP Amid Pollution Meet Row, "Cc: Trolls"

Gautam Gambhir, who repeatedly sparred with the ruling AAP in Delhi, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, during his election campaign, was targeted by party leaders after a photo of him eating jalebis in Indore surfaced online

Gautam Gambhir's Retort To AAP Amid Pollution Meet Row, 'Cc: Trolls'

Gautam Gambhir is in Indore as a commentator for the India vs Bangladesh cricket match

New Delhi:

Gautam Gambhir has responded to the avalanche of criticism from AAP leaders after he missed a high-level parliamentary panel meeting on the air pollution crisis in Delhi. Mr Gambhir, who is in Madhya Pradesh's Indore to commentate on the India vs Bangladesh cricket match, posted a long note on his Twitter account in which he said my work "will speak for itself" and then criticised the AAP for "making my commercial engagements (which were entered into before I had become an MP) an issue..."

Gautam Gambhir was the only MP from Delhi who had been summoned to the meeting that was scheduled to start 11 am. Attendance was poor, with only four of 29 MPs summoned turning up.

Earlier today Mr Gambhir was mercilessly trolled after fellow former cricketer VVS Laxman tweeted a photo of the two of them eating jalebis and poha in Indore on the day of the parliamentary panel meet.

Mr Gambhir, who repeatedly sparred with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, both during his election campaign and since, was swiftly targeted by AAP leaders and other Twitter users, leading to #ShameOnGautamGambhir trending across the country.

AAP posted multiple tweets criticising Mr Gambhir for not attending the meeting.

The party also pointed out its Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh attended the meeting.

Saurabh Bharadwaj, the AAP MLA for Delhi's Greater Kailash neighbourhood, also took to Twitter, reminding Mr Gambhir he had "7 days to eat Jalebi & poha" before returning to attend the meeting.

Mr Bharadwaj also posted a nearly three-minute long video on his official Twitter account, in which he accused Gautam Gambhir of abusing privileges of Parliament.

"Today, there was a parliamentary meeting about pollution in Delhi. You will be worried to know that our East Delhi MP, Gautam Gambhir, was not present... strict action should be taken against those who were not present. They are clearly in contempt of the powers and privileges of parliament," the AAP MLA said in the video.

Other AAP MLAs have also hit out at Gautam Gambhir, including Jarnail Singh, who represents Tilak Nagar in the western part of the city.

Twitter users also took aim at Mr Gambhir, with one demanding to know how he would contrive to blame Arvind Kejriwal for failing to attend the meeting.

Another user posted a dual image - of Mr Gambhir laughing and school girls covering their faces while walking through a poisonous haze.

A third tweet simply read: "Delhi kids Vs Delhi's MP".

In the short time since Gautam Gambhir made his political debut (he joined the BJP in May), AAP and the former Indian cricket team captain have clashed repeatedly.

Last month Mr Gambhir took a swipe at Arvind Kejriwal after the Chief Minister launched a programme to get rid of potholes from Delhi's roads. His constituency has some of the worst traffic jams in the city.

"Please go slow. There are many potholes. We know the realities of Delhi. But to keep yourself happy it's a good thought," he tweeted in Hindi to the tune of Geeta Dutt's 1954 hit song "Babuji Dheere Chalna".

Mr Gambhir was also involved in an explosive row with AAP leader Atishi, who was the party's candidate for the Delhi (East) seat, after he was accused of circulating a derogatory and scurrilous pamphlet that allegedly contained personal attacks on his opponent.

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Mr Gambhir beat the Congress's Arvinder Lovely by nearly four lakh votes to win the Delhi (East) seat

The parliamentary committee that called for the meeting has taken strong objection to the absence of the parliamentarians. Actor-politician Hema Malini, BJP MP from Mathura, was also absent.

"You have told me about this. I will 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 joint action plan. Teams are working with coordination," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

Pollution levels in the capital have risen significantly in the past four days, forcing authorities to shut schools for two days.

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