Pollution levels peaked in Delhi on Friday and the people of the national capital gasped for breath, politics peaked over the matter after senior officials of the Environment Ministry, the Delhi Development Authority and municipal commissioners reportedly skipped a key meeting of a parliamentary panel. The panel was meeting to discuss the pressing issue of severe pollution in Delhi.
Among those who stayed away from the meeting was former cricketer and BJP MP from East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir. The BJP leader is in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, for the first Test between India and Bangladesh at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. He is an official commentator for the series.Gambhir particularly faced flak after he retweeted a tweet of colleague VVS Laxman wherein the duo was seen along with broadcaster Jatin Sapru enjoying a local cuisine for breakfast. "Kabhi pohe se teekhe, kabhi jalebi se meethe ... a wonderful start to the day in Indoor, where we had breakfast outdoor," Laxman’s tweet read.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said MP Gambhir knew about the agenda for today’s meeting but he still chose to skip.
“Agenda for today's meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee was circulated a week back and clearly stated air pollution in NCR-Delhi. MP from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir was missing. Is the seriousness related to pollution restricted only to commentary box?” the party asked on Twitter.
Nagendar Sharma, the media advisor to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, also slammed Gambhir for skipping the meeting.
“Agenda for today's meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development was circulated a week back and clearly stated air pollution in NCR-Delhi. Only four MPs were present. Obviously Gautam Gambhir is a celebrity and photo with a mask gets so much attention. Why bother?” Sharma wrote on Twitter.