The Aam Aadmi Party Tuesday said the BJP suffered from "intellectual and cultural bankruptcy" after its MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma made remarks about CM Arvind Kejriwal's coughing in Parliament.
Participating in the Lok Sabha debate on pollution, Verma, MP from West Delhi, blamed Kejriwal for the capital's pollution woes, saying: "Earlier, the CM coughed alone. Now, the whole of Delhi coughs with him. The only thing he has given to Delhi for free is pollution."
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha called Verma's remarks "truly sickening".
"It shows the intellectual and cultural bankruptcy of the BJP that they have to stoop to a level where personal attacks on one's health and family members are being made in order to justify one's own criminal negligence and apathy towards the issue of air pollution," Chadha said.
"I don't even wish to dignify his comments with a response. If the BJP thinks that abusing the CM and making derogatory statements against his family can help bring the level of air pollution down, they are more than welcome to do so from morning to evening," he added.
Verma had in Parliament said Kejriwal continues to blame stubble burning for Delhi's air quality, while doing nothing to control vehicular pollution.
"The Delhi government blames stubble burning for the capital's poor air, when the major causes are vehicular pollution and factories. In 2004, Delhi had 40 lakh vehicles, this has gone up to 1,10,00000 today. In the past five years, the Delhi transport department did not buy a single bus, forcing people to buy vehicles," he said.
BJP MP from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir too said "gimmicks like Odd-Even" wouldn't help control pollution. "Blaming each other over pollution won't help. Pollution kills one child every three minutes. We need to think of long-term solutions. The state can no longer get away with gimmicks like Odd-Even and banning construction sites," Gambhir said.
Out of the seven BJP MPs from Delhi, four were present in Lok Sabha for the debate. While Ramesh Bidhuri and Hans Raj Hans were absent, Union minister and MP Dr Harsh Vardhan was in the Rajya Sabha to speak on the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019.
AAP targetted the BJP for this, saying BJP leaders were "not serious" about pollution.
Chadha said: "Gautam Gambhir also skipped another important meeting. The health minister is advising people to eat carrots and another minister in UP is saying prayers should be held to please the rain god to reduce pollution. Just three MPs were present and four were absent, which shows that BJP has nothing but criminal negligence and apathy when it comes to the respiratory health of people of Delhi. People of north India and AAP stands vindicated once again."