While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Friday termed the Arvind Kejriwal government’s the odd-even scheme launch plan in November a drama and poll stunt, the AAP asked the BJP to support it as air pollution affected people without discrimination.
Speaking to the media, BJP Rajya Sabha member Vijay Goel said the people would oppose the scheme. “With just four months to polls, the Kejriwal government has now woken up to pollution. It’s merely a political stunt. Kejriwal didn’t do anything to reduce pollution in the last 5 years and all of a sudden started talking about distributing masks, odd-even scheme, etc.”
Goel, former Delhi BJP chief, credited the Centre and the MCDs for reduction in pollution. The fall in pollution levels was due to efforts of the central government, which built the Eastern-Western Highway that diverted over 60,000 vehicles outside Delhi, Meerut Expressway and Dhaula Kuan loops, he said.
“The rolling out of BS-VI norms in Delhi is also a central government scheme. It’s the central government and MCDs that ordered barricades around construction sites to reduce dust pollution and shifting of brick kilns to greener technology,” Goel said.
He said the “odd-even drama” was first time done in 2016 and only four-wheelers were prohibited. “The reports released by the central government and the CPCB said the odd-even scheme had zero impact on pollution levels,” he said.
Calling it an election stunt, he said Kejriwal was declaring these schemes out of desperation and despair and with hope to fool the people of Delhi.
BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari said, “Implementation of the odd-even scheme without any improvement in the public transport system is a punishment for the people.”
The AAP, on the other hand, said the scheme would be implemented between November 4 and November 15 to make Delhi pollution-free and the BJP should cooperate in it.
AAP national spokesperson Atishi said various measures had reduced pollution in Delhi by 25 per cent. There were many reasons behind the fall in pollution, like end of diesel generators due to 24-hour power and reduced movement of trucks due to the Eastern Western Peripheral Highway.
“To further reduce pollution, the Delhi government is working with the central government and Municipal Corporations to form new policies,” she said.
“Tiwari does not believe that there is any need to implement the odd-even scheme in Delhi. This is a negative attitude of the BJP,” she said.
Atishi also urged the BJP to cooperate with the Delhi government in this campaign “because pollution doesn’t distinguish between the AAP and the BJP leadres. Pollution is harmful for everyone.”
AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said Tiwari was nervous. “Whatever the Delhi government does, they first oppose it and when they see it succeed fight to take credit for it,” Bhardwaj said.
He said the pollution level in Delhi had come down and Tiwari could take credit for it. “The AAP is ready to share credit with the BJP and Tiwari can celebrate with this credit.”