'Wasting taxpayers money': Twitter after Arvind Kejriwal, wife perform Diwali puja at Delhi's Akshardham temple

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accompanied by his wife and cabinet colleagues performed 'Diwali Pujan' in a grand ceremony held at Akshardham temple on Saturday.

Kejriwal, who previously had urged people not to burst crackers due to rising pollution level and its impact on COVID-19, appealed them to join him for the pujan which was telecast live through TV channels and social media platforms.

"Today my family of two crore Delhi people together performed Diwali Pujan. Prayed for happiness, health and prosperity of all. May there be well being of all," Kejriwal tweeted after the programme.

But, Kejriwal's invitation and the pujan didn't sit well with netizens. The Delhi CM was trolled and was even accused of using taxpayers’ money for the event. One user said, "Another spineless CM wasting tax payers' money to show loyalty to RSS-BJP."

Another user said, "So Delhi govt paid to TV News channels to live telecast Kejriwal Govt's official Diwali puja. Its not a live telecast, its a live advertisement."

Here's what netizens had to say:

Kejriwal on Wednesday had shared a video message on Twitter, inviting people to virtually join him for the pujan. “As two crore Delhiites will together perform Lakshmi Pujan, marvellous vibes will be created across Delhi and all the visible and invisible forces will bless them,” he had said.

The Delhi government has imposed a complete ban on sale, purchase and bursting of firecrackers till November 30, in view of rising pollution levels and the COVID-19 pandemic. Kejriwal had also appealed the masses to not burst firecrackers, in a televised address, earlier this week.

People in Delhi woke up to a further spike in air pollution as the city continued to remain engulfed in a blanket of smog post-Diwali with the air quality index in 'severe' and 'very poor quality' at several places on Sunday morning.

The air quality dipped to "severe" at several places across the national capital on Saturday night itself owing to a combination of stubble burning and firecrackers burst during the Diwali celebrations in violation of a ban on the same.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM 2.5 pollutant stood at 481 in Anand Vihar, 444 in IGI Airport area, 457 in ITO, and 414 in Lodhi Road area, all four in the 'severe' category, at 11 pm on Saturday, according to the DPCC data. This came as many burst firecrackers in violation of the complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital by the Delhi government and the National Green Tribunal.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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