“When Will Ads Come?”: Gautam Gambhir Targets Arvind Kejriwal On Delhi Rains

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted Sunday morning to assure Delhi residents that his government would clear waterlogged roads as soon possible

New Delhi: 

BJP leader Gautam Gambhir took a swipe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday, hours after heavy rain led to flooding of some roads in the city and left at least two people dead.

Posting photos of people, cars and buses wading and crawling through waterlogged roads of the national capital, Mr Gambhir said: “I’ve head the Delhi government is planning a ‘rain water harvesting’ programme for public roads, like London and Paris”.

“When will the advertisements for these come, Chief Ministerji?” the East Delhi MP added, reigniting a long-standing row between the BJP and Delhi’s ruling AAP over money spent by the latter on advertising the success of its welfare policies and programmes.

An hour later Mr Kejriwal responded, urging all political leaders to “come together and fulfil our responsibilities”. He also pointed out that government resources were already strained due to the coronavirus crisis; Delhi is the third worst-affected region with 1.21 lakh cases.

“This year, all agencies – Delhi government and Municipal Corporation – are engaged in fighting coronavirus. They have faced many difficulties as a result. This is not the time to blame each other. We must come together and fulfil our responsibilities,” the Chief Minister tweeted.

Mr Kejriwal assured Delhi residents that his government would clear waterlogged roads as soon possible. Shortly after he posted another tweet, this time with a photo of the Minto Bridge – which had been flooded so badly a bus was stranded – now cleared.

“Waterlogging has been removed from Minto Bridge. I have been in contact with agencies and am monitoring (the situation). Wherever water is collected, it is being pumped immediately,” he said.

Undeterred by the Chief Minister’s response, Mr Gambhir hit back, writing: “Chief Minister, please tell people – what comes under the Delhi government apart from the advertising department?”

In November last year, as the centre and Delhi governments went back-and-forth over severe air pollution levels in the city, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar accused the AAP of spending Rs 1,500 crore on ads instead of using it to address the problem.

Mr Kejriwal defended his party, saying only Rs 40 crore had been spent, and that too “… on awareness about dengue so not one person has died this year”. “The centre lies so much we cannot believe anything they say,” the Chief Minister claimed.