Cricketer turned Bharatiya Janata party MP Gautam Gambhir invited further trolling on Monday after he claimed that he had missed the Parliamentary meeting on air pollution in Delhi because he was previously committed.
The East Delhi MP has been in the eye of A Twitter-storm since November 15 when he missed the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development meeting in Delhi amid severe concerns about the alarming levels of air pollution in the capital. Instead of attending the meeting, however, Gambhir was seen gorging on jalebi in Indore.
The MP was in Indore to as a commentator for the India-Bangladesh cricket fixture and images of him enjoying jalebi were shared by former cricketer VVS Laxman. The photos became viral and Gambhir faced a lot of flak on legacy as well as social media for allegedly “enjoying" in Indore while Delhi choked.
On Monday, the former cricketer responded to reporters in the capital, stating that he has missed the “very important" pollution meeting because he was “contractually bound".
“I had signed the contract in January & I joined politics in April. Due to contractual obligation, I had to go for the commentary. On 11th November I received the mail and on the same day, I had informed them the reason for not attending the meeting," Gambhir told news agency ANI.
He also took to Twitter to Twitter to explain his position, claiming that people can troll him all they want adding that abusing him will not solve the pollution problem.
He also added a note in which he said that his accomplishments as an MP should be judged from the work he has been doing in Delhi.
“I sit in my constituency office at 11 am and leave only when they people who had come are assured that their grievances have been addressed," Gambhir wrote.
“We are also in talks to install giant air purifiers with cutting edge technology across the constituency which will substantially reduce pollution", the MP further added.
My work will speak for itself!P.S. Agar mujhe gaali dene se Dilli ka pollution kam hoga to AAP jee bhar ke gaali dijiye. cc: Trolls pic.twitter.com/bRyYoFB02c
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) November 15, 2019
Speaking to reporters, Gambhir also remarked that for some people, dwelling on “jalebi was more important that pollution and that he was “unfairly targeted".
The remarks come a day after parodied “Missing" posters of Gambhir showed in various parts of the capital, seeking information on the “missing" MP. He also said if him eating jalebi had cause pollution to spike, he can quit eating jalebis forever.
— बाबा♻️Again (@rkgeemail) November 18, 2019
Despite the cricketers’ efforts, netizens remained unconvinced.
You should have broken the contract by paying the damage money, you did not do that that means for you money is more than then your Delhi and Nation.— ಬೆಲನ್ವಾಲಿ (Belanwali)🇮🇳 (@BelanWali) November 18, 2019
Irresponsible to core pic.twitter.com/JG05b8GhFs
— Raman (@being_delhite) November 18, 2019
So your cricket contract is more important for you than the oath you took as the Member of Parliament?— Nihal Kirnalli (@NihalKirnalli) November 18, 2019
Gautam Gambhir hates putting morning alarms - cos they remind him to get up. He gets overly conscious & continues to sleep.— Naomi Datta (@nowme_datta) November 18, 2019
— बाबा♻️Again (@rkgeemail) November 18, 2019
MPs like @GautamGambhir @digvijaya_28 don’t even attend the meeting for control of pollution! Total negligence when the know that their families & their own health is also affected seriously & they will loose 7-10 yrs of life,if they don’t find solutions https://t.co/Wa6nfSU57H— Raman Chopra रमन (@shiriram15) November 18, 2019
But he didn't skip important environmental meeting like you did Mr. @GautamGambhir and neither enjoys cricket match in Indore when @ArvindKejriwal's primary job is to work for the people as a politician. #Politics is not a tag to flaunt but to act to empower the underprivileged https://t.co/eMZX1aOKNP— Rohit Rao (@SirRohitYadav) November 17, 2019
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party has torn into Gambhir following the controversy. “Instead of sitting in commentary box and enjoying, we challenge Gautam Gambhir to stop playing blame games over pollution and attend meetings on air pollution which he skipped,” read a tweet by the party’s official handle.
Delhi is choking & @GautamGambhir is busy enjoying in Indore. The MP should come to Delhi and ATTEND MEETINGS on AIR POLLUTION which was cancelled because
❌MCD ❌DDA ❌Environment Ministry ❌MP's of Delhi
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 15, 2019
The meeting had to be cancelled due to mass absence from MPs as well as Delhi Development Authority and MCD officials.
Incidentally, Gambhir had earlier attacked Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for not doing enough to deal with the Delhi’s air crisis and instead was only busy giving press conferences.
Delhi is choking & @ArvindKejriwal is busy doing press cons FYI Centre built Est Exp & Delhi has not deposited its share, CM should go out to see how many construction sites are covered, EDMC bought 52 super machines for 70 Cr to curb pollution & DDA did largest tree plantation— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) November 1, 2019
(This article was originally published on November 18, 2019)