New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The unveiling of details of the second part of the odd-even scheme saw another attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, this time with a shoe being thrown at him just before he announced the details of the 15-day-long vehicle restriction scheme.
A nonchalant chief minister however went ahead with the press conference, saying that the government is seriously mulling a proposal to enforce the scheme for 15 days every month.
The outline of the scheme, first implemented January 1-15, remained more or less like the last time, except the exemption for vehicles with children in school uniform.
However, a male driver, returning after dropping children to school or on his way to pick them up, will not be exempted.
The press conference called to announce the details saw some disturbance when a man, who identified himself as Ved Prakash from Aam Aadmi Sena, hurled a shoe at the chief minister and alleged there is a ‘scam’ in the distribution of CNG car stickers.
The shoe did not hurt Kejriwal. The man was meanwhile taken into custody, also facing blows from some AAP supporters as he was hustled out of the conference room.
A political slug-fest started soon after, with AAP claiming the man had called a Bharatiya Janata Party leader before throwing the shoe at Kejriwal, while opposition parties condemned the incident but attacked Kejriwal.
“Call details of Ved Prakash Sharma should be probed. He called a Delhi BJP leader right before attacking,” said Water Minister Kapil Mishra. “We have seen many such attacks. We are not scared of it.”
BJP leader Nalin Kohli said such incidents were becoming a trend and it was “worrisome”.
“People are crossing limits trying to harm people. What is worrisome is that this is becoming a trend now. He is the chief minister. Somewhere a line has to be drawn. We should come together and decide that this should not be allowed,” he told the media.
However, BJP’s Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay said: “This may be managed by themselves. Earlier also, their own people have done it or it could be an expression of frustration of the people over the working of the government.
Congress leader P.C. Chacko also condemned the shoe-throwing but said “it’s due to the authoritarian style of functioning of Kejriwal.
The press conference however continued, with the chief minister making a fresh appeal to the people to make the scheme successful.
Elaborating on the details of the second phase of the car restriction policy, Kejriwal said that it would be more or less the same as the previous phase.
“Women would remain exempted from the second phase as well. Vehicles carrying school kids in uniform would be exempted from the scheme,” Kejriwal said, but not male parents, coming back after dropping their child to school and going to pick them up.
“It would be very difficult to identify each and every male parent. They should cooperate in this effort to fight pollution and pool the car to pick and drop their kids,” he added.
The Delhi government also announced a plan for increasing the frequency of public transport including buses and Metro trains.
The list of exemptions include VIP and CNG cars, vehicles being driven by women, cases of medical emergency, cars carrying disabled persons but not Delhi government ministers including the chief minister.