‘Won’t Eat Jalebis If It’ll Stop Pollution’: Gambhir After Outrage
Facing backlash for going to Indore instead of a meeting on Delhi pollution, Gambhir chose to respond with sarcasm.
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Video Producer: Kavisha Manwani
Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir on Monday, 18 November, said that he had been “contractually bound” to go to Indore to commentate at a cricket match, citing this as his reason for skipping the high-level Parliamentary meet to discuss pollution in Delhi-NCR on 15 November.
“I know the meeting was very important but I was contractually bound. I had signed the contract in January and I joined politics in April 2019. Due to contractual obligation, I had to go for the commentary.”Gautam Gambhir, East Delhi MP
AAP Slams Gambhir
The Aam Aadmi Party slammed Gambhir for missing the meet, while “sitting in the commentary box and enjoying.” The party tweeted a photo of Gambhir enjoying jalebis with VVS Lakshman in Indore where India took on Bangladesh in a Test match.
Some missing posters of Gambhir have also popped up at the ITO area in Delhi. The posters bear a picture of him along with a message that reads, “Lost. Have you seen this person? He was last seen eating jalebi in Indore. All of Delhi is looking for him.”
Gambhir’s Initial Response
Gambhir responded to AAP’s criticism saying that his “work will speak for itself”. He added that AAP was trying to “mask their incompetence” by making an issue of his “commercial engagements.”
‘Look at Your Priorities,’ Twitter Slams Gambhir
Others Who Missed the Meet
Only four out of 29 MPs and top officials in the list actually turned up for the important meeting.
The four MPs who attended the meeting were BJP's Jagdambika Pal and CR Patil, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, and National Conference’s Hasnain Masoodi.
MJ Akbar and Mathura MP Hema Malini are among the MPs who failed to turn up.
‘Will Investigate Those Who Skipped Meet’
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that pollution was not just Delhi’s problem and that he will investigate those who skipped the meet.
“I will find out the details and investigate. We are very serious about pollution and it is not just Delhi’s problem. I have ordered a joint action plan.”Prakash Javadekar to reporters
The Environment Ministry further said that they were represented by the Deputy Secretary and also by the Central Pollution Control Board but that the Joint Secretary could not attend as she was to appear in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, too, on 15 November, summoned chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to know about steps taken by them to reduce air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said effective steps must be taken and 13 pollution hotspots in Delhi should be cleared of pollutants.
The apex court questioned the Delhi government over granting exemptions, including 2-and-3 wheelers, during its odd-even scheme and noted that pollution levels in Delhi were increasing despite the vehicle-rotation scheme.
It also expressed concerns that despite a reduction in stubble burning, pollution levels in Delhi had gotten worse.
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