NEW DELHI: East Delhi parliamentarian Gautam Gambhir among 24 MPs were absent in a meeting to discuss air pollution in Delhi-NCR on Friday. Top officials of the environment ministry, DDA and municipal commissioners also stayed away from the deliberations.
Only four MPs in the 28-member parliamentary panel attended the meet.
Cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir has been vocal about the alarming levels of air pollution in Delhi and has called for measures to curb the menace. He was seen commentating on television on Friday in Indore, where a test match between India and Bangladesh is going on.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development had called the meeting with top officials of various government departments to discuss the air pollution in Delhi and the measures required to reduce it.
As many as 24 MPs, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, did not attend the meeting, but the absence of Gambhir, the lone BJP leader from Delhi in the committee, snowballed into a political row as the AAP hit out at the saffron party over the issue and questioned its seriousness in tackling the crisis.
According to a news agency, the members of the panel who attended the meeting were extremely upset with the absence of the environment secretary, the DDA chairman and officials of the three municipal corporations of the national capital and planning to raise the issue with the Lok Sabha Speaker.
In a statement, Gambhir said his work spoke for him, adding that if by abusing him, Delhi's pollution levels came down, then the AAP was free to do so.
Meanwhile, #ShameOnGautamGambhir started trending on Twitter as pictures of him having jalebi started circulating in on social media.