BJP slams Arvind Kejriwal for cracker ban in Delhi, says it is imposed to ‘hurt’ Hindu sentiments

New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday criticised the AAP government’s cracker ban and said imposing it ahead of Diwali is “hurting the sentiments of Hindus”. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday announced a blanket ban on the production, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers in the national capital, including on Diwali, till January 1, 2023. Rai said the ban extends to online sale of firecrackers. He, however, did not clarify when the restrictions would come into force.

The BJP slammed the ban saying that the contribution of cracker burning to Delhi’s pollution was “minimal” and their banning on Diwali will hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma said the Kejriwal government could not bring down the pollution in the city despite spending crores on it.

“Arvind Kejriwal has spent crores of rupees on meetings and advertisements in the name of pollution but it did not decrease, instead it increased.

“When Hindu festivals of Diwali and Dussehra are round the corner, (Kejriwal) imposes a ban on firecrackers. Every year Delhi has to suffer because of their failure,” Singh said.

Delhi BJP Spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said that it was sad to see that every year the city government “misleads” the court into believing that Diwali cracker burning is a big cause of pollution, but remains silent on major causes of pollution such as the burning of crop residue, construction activity, and vehicular emission.

“It is important to check pollution, but the people of Delhi are dismayed to see that like in previous years Delhi government has today again banned the burning of crackers on Diwali night, while remaining silent on the major causes like burning of crop residue by farmers in Punjab,” Kapoor said in a statement.

He argued that till last year Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and environment Minister Gopal Rai used to blame the erstwhile Punjab government for not stopping stubble burning by farmers, but now that the party is in power there, the people of Delhi want to know what steps the two governments – Delhi and Punjab – are taking to check it.

Taking it a notch further, BJP leader and former MLA Kapil Mishra said that the ban was a part of “Muslim appeasement” ahead of the Gujarat elections.

“This decision has been taken to appease Muslims in Gujarat. This is not an issue related to pollution. It is an attempt to stop Hindu festivals. People will not obey such an unscientific order,” Mishra, who had joined BJP defecting from AAP, said.

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