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Odd-even drive success silences Opposition

Published : Jan 2, 2016, 1:19 am IST
Updated : Jan 2, 2016, 1:19 am IST

A day after BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi criticised chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over the odd-even scheme to control traffic and reduce air pollution, the AAP leader celebrated the success of the drive on

A day after BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi criticised chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over the odd-even scheme to control traffic and reduce air pollution, the AAP leader celebrated the success of the drive on its very first day on Friday.

Ms Lekhi had criticised Mr Kejriwal for attacking the Centre over issues like a protest strike by the city’s bureaucrats, saying that the chief minister was hunting for excuses as he was well aware that the odd-even scheme would fail. She had claimed that the scheme was bound to fail as Mr Kejriwal had no intention of doing the hard work needed to improve Delhi’s environment. Her attack on the chief minister came in the wake of his accusations that Danics officers protesting against “illegal” suspension of their two colleagues were a “B Team” of the BJP.

However, the success of the odd-even scheme has for time being silenced Mr Kejriwal’s critics. A political analyst said that Mr Kejriwal’s initiative would go a long way in the history of the country to show how Delhiites wholeheartedly participated in his initiative to bring down pollution levels in the city.

Buoyed by a decent start, Mr Kejriwal even took a dig at the Centre, saying, “Dilli ke logon ne kendra sarkar ki aisi-taise kar di... Unhonne kendra ko angootha dikha diya. (The people of Delhi today showed that they don’t care about the Central government).” He also accused the Centre of trying to sabotage the scheme of road-rationing on the eve of its implementation by instigating a strike by the bureaucrats.

City transport minister Gopal Rai thanked the Opposition parties for criticising the scheme. He said: “I would like to thank the Opposition for brining attention to this issue, hence making it more popular. People of Delhi chose the health of their children over comfort and we would like to thank them for all their support.”

While AAP leaders were upbeat over the success of the much-hyped odd-even scheme, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay continued his tirade against the chief minister, saying there were practical problems in the implementation of the drive. Senior BJP leader and Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi termed the move as a good start, but Mr Upadhyay said the scheme was launched in a hurry without working on micro-detailing and coming out with solutions to the practical problems.

The Congress played the role of a neutral player on the issue. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken chose not to comment on the issue, saying that it is “too early” to speak about the scheme as it is only the first day of the 15-day implementation, which also includes an extended weekend.

But the AAP leaders lost no time in taking full advantage of the success of the scheme. Senior AAP leader Ashutosh said, “We were expecting some teething problems from people, but we are overwhelmed with the way people have responded to it. The result is beyond our expectations.”

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi