Gujarat BJP Slams Kejriwal Over Cracker Ban in Delhi, Dubs Move ‘anti-religious’

Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil has hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his government’s decision to completely ban firecrackers in the national capital, and dubbed such people “anti-religious” who were stopping citizens from celebrating their festivals.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government last month re-imposed a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, 2023, including on Diwali, a practice it has been following for the last two years.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai recently said bursting of firecrackers on Diwali in Delhi will attract a jail term of up to six months and a fine of Rs 200. Production, storage and sale of firecrackers in the capital will be punishable with a fine of up to Rs 5,000 and three years jail under Section 9B of the Explosives Act, Rai had said.

Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls due later this year, AAP national convener Kejriwal has visited the state multiple times in the recent past to garner support for his party.

Addressing a gathering after a firecrackers show organised here on Saturday, Gujarat BJP chief Paatil said, “Today I read some news that the chief minister of Delhi has imposed a ban on firecrackers in Delhi. That brother is trying to come here (for elections in Gujarat). Then how will you burst firecrackers?” “So please recognise such anti-religious people and against firecrackers who stop us from celebrating our festivals,” Paatil said.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had said the ban on crackers was imposed on the orders of Supreme Court and the BJP leaders were showing disrespect to the court. BJP leaders had targeted the Delhi government over the complete ban on firecrackers, dubbing the Kejriwal-led dispensation “anti-Hindu”.

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari recently said Chief Minister Kejriwal should allow people in Delhi to burst crackers for two-three hours on Diwali. The AAP has been trying to position itself as the main contender to the ruling BJP in Gujarat where elections are due later this year.

Kejriwal has anchored his party’s campaign around a slew of guarantees like 300 units of free electricity per month, free education in government schools, sops for unemployed youth, Rs 1,000 allowance to women and a monthly stipend for new lawyers.

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