Accusing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of doing politics over the issue of water quality in the national capital, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday challenged him to name officials for a team comprising city and central officials to test water.
Speaking in Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour, the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister, said water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board is not fit for drinking. While the rich and middle class use ROs and other purifiers or depend on bottled water, the poor suffer, he said after some Lok Sabha MPs from the capital raised the issue besides that of air pollution.
A war of words has erupted between the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP ahead of the assembly polls in the city after test of water samples drawn from cities across the country showed that Mumbai had the best water quality and Delhi the worst. Kejriwal has rejcted the report prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standardisation (BIS) as "false and politically motivated".
A visibly piqued Paswan slammed the Aam Aadmi Party over its response and said its government used to make tall claims about the city's water quality but is now levelling allegations against him. He has never done politics over these issues, he said. "You cannot drink tap water directly. At many places water comes in all sorts of colours, yellow, blue...," Paswan said.
"I challenge you (Kejriwal) that you name your officials for a team which will also have top BIS officials. Let them go to any area, pick samples and get them tested from any lab. I challenge Kejriwal to name his officials by today evening, or tomorrow or day after...," he said. He is doing politics now, Paswan said, attacking Kejriwal.
He said no Delhi MLA, 67 of whom out of 70 are from AAP, says that drinking water quality in his or her area is good. Earlier, BJP's Manoj Tiwari said there is "health emergency" in the national capital. Other party MPs from Delhi, including Meenakshi Lekhi and Hans Raj Hans, also raised the issue and attacked the Kejriwal government.