As the odd-even scheme kicked in on Monday in Delhi, senior BJP leader Vijay Goel decided to violate the rule by driving a car with an odd last digit in its registration number. Monday is 4 November, which means only cars with registration number ending in an even number are allowed.
Goel termed the initiative “an election stunt” by the Arvind Kejriwal government and his move a “symbolic protest” against the scheme. He drove from his residence on Ashoka Road and was stopped near Janpath by traffic police personnel who challaned him.
Violation of the odd-even rule is punishable with a fine of Rs 4,000.
The BJP leader’s car, according to PTI, carried slogans which said, “pradushan ki zimmedar Kejriwal sarkar, odd-even hai bekar (Kejriwal government is responsible for pollution, odd-even scheme is useless)”.
“I am doing this as a symbolic protest against the Kejriwal government’s failure to do anything in five years to curb pollution in Delhi. It is now enacting a drama and election stunt in view of the coming assembly polls through odd-even scheme,” he told reporters, according to PTI.
He also tweeted with #OddEvenNatak:
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot later met Goel at his residence with a bouquet of roses, urging him not to violate the rule, PTI added.
Gahlot and Goel also had an altercation on camera, News18 reported. Goel asked Gahlot why the Kejriwal government introduced the odd-even scheme when the chief minister himself had blamed the deteriorating air quality on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
The AAP minister said that the Delhi government had sought Centre’s help with the stubble burning. “And if 50% cars do not ply on the roads, then at least some amount of pollution will reduce,” he said.
Several AAP leaders also hit out at Goel with Sanjay Singh saying his act depicts BJP’s “mentality”.
Singh told ANI, “it is very unfortunate that the life of over two crore people of Delhi is in danger due to increasing pollution in the city, but rather than working to control pollution, Goel is talking about violating traffic rules. This shows the mentality of BJP.”
Sisodia said that tackling pollution was not the BJP’S priority, Hindustan Times quoted. The deputy CM rode a bicycle to work from his residence on Monday.
AAP’s Atishi also hit out at the BJP in a tweet:
Congress leader Ajay Maken said, “as a Lawmaker-how can he (Goel) deliberately break the law?”
(With PTI inputs)