People staying away from firecrackers: AAP

A view of a street littered with firecrackers waste during Diwali celebrations, in New Delhi on  Sunday. (PTI Photo)

Accusing the BJP of instigating people to burst firecrackers on Diwali, the ruling AAP in Delhi said on Monday that the saffron party has "a habit of" opposing everything that the Kejriwal government does.

Addressing a press conference, senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said BJP leaders should think about their families before bursting crackers.

"It is a habit of the BJP to oppose everything that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal does. They should stop instigating people to increase pollution in the national capital. It is shameful that the ruling party is politicising a sensitive issue like pollution," he said.

"It is unfortunate that at one side the AAP government and the people of Delhi are working together and on the other hand the BJP leaders are doing politics over a sensitive issue like pollution. This shows their poor mindset," he added.

Singh said that while pollution was continuously increasing in all the states, the efforts of the Delhi government reduced the pollution level in Delhi by 25 per cent, which was appreciated across the country.

"But the stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Delhi like Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, caused a spike in the pollution," he said.

"The Delhi government is taking various measures to control the pollution. To combat the pollution due to firecrackers, the Delhi government organised a community Diwali this time through a laser show and thousands of Delhiites participated in it," Singh said.

He further said it is "shameful" that while small children did not burn firecrackers and participated in the laser show organised by the Delhi government with their parents, the leaders of the BJP burnt firecrackers and asked people to do the same.

"This action reflects the poor mentality of the BJP. I want to ask the BJP leader that if the pollution level in Delhi increases, will their children and families not be harmed? The BJP leaders should be ashamed that when the people of entire Delhi stood united on such a sensitive issue, then they are violating the norms and promoting the burning of firecrackers," Singh said.

He was apparently referring to Delhi unit BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who posted a video on Twitter where he could be seen lighting earthen lamps and bursting firecrackers with people in unauthorised colonies.

Hitting back at the AAP, BJP leader Vijender Gupta said Kejriwal's party is making the claims to "distract" people from its failures to curb air pollution.

He said the AAP government has not done any ground work in Delhi. "Controlling pollution needs work all through the year. The AAP has not done that and now to distract people from its own failures it is making such comments."

Delhi's air pollution skyrocketed after Diwali. A layer of haze enveloped the national capital as the city's air quality plummeted to the "severe" category for the first time this season.

The overall air quality index (AQI) stood at 463 at 11.30 am, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

The AQI at Pusa, Lodhi Road, Airport Terminal T3, Noida, Mathura Road, Ayanagar, IIT Delhi, Dhirpur, and Chandni Chowk was 480, 436, 460, 668, 413, 477, 483, 553 and 466, respectively.

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