Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday dared Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to accept his safe drinking water challenge. Speaking in parliament, Paswan, who is the Consumer Affairs Minister, asked Kejriwal to depute a representative from his Aam Aadmi Party in whose presence Delhi’s tap water can be tested by the BIS officials all over again.
This was after a report by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) revealed that tap water in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata had failed on 10 out of 11 parameters. Kejriwal had termed the report fake when Union Minister Harsh Vardhan shared a newspaper report on the topic on Twitter.
Harsh Vardhan had written on Twitter, “Arvind Kejriwal is making Delhiites drink poison in the name of free water. A survey conducted on the drinking water across 20 cities found that the drinking water in Delhi was the most poisonous. The Aam Aadmi Party government, which claims to have achieved so much on development, has failed to even provide drinking water to people.”
देश के 20 शहरों के #पानी पर हुए सर्वे में दिल्ली का पानी सबसे ज्यादा जहरीला पाया गया।
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) November 17, 2019
Kejriwal had reacted angrily to Harsh Vardhan’s tweet and called it ‘fake news.’ His tweet read, “Sir, you are a doctor. You know that this report is fake and motivated by politics. At least you should not become a part of dirty politics.”
सर, आप तो डॉक्टर हैं। आप जानते हैं कि ये रिपोर्ट झूठी है, राजनीति से प्रेरित है। आप जैसे व्यक्ति को ऐसी गंदी राजनीति का हिस्सा नहीं बनना चाहिए। https://t.co/1qAPxXORcw
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 17, 2019
Speaking in parliament, Paswan threw a challenge to Kejriwal as he said, “It’s important to supply safe water to everyone. The Centre is ready to form a joint team comprising officials from the Delhi government and the BIS. The water sample from Delhi had failed in the earlier test conducted by the BIS.”
आज शीतकालीन सत्र के पहले दिन मैंने लोकसभा के पटल से घोषणा की कि दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री श्री @ArvindKejriwal जी दोबारा पानी के नमूनों की जांच हेतु अपना प्रतिनिधि नामित करें। हम BIS की तरफ से श्री प्रमोद तिवारी,DG(BIS) और श्री जे रॉयचौधरी DDG(Labs)BIS को नामित करते हैं।1/3 @PMOIndia
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) November 18, 2019
He added, “Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal can nominate anyone with a freshwater sample. We can have them tested wherever he (Kejriwal) desires…I nominate Pramod Tiwari, DG BIS, and J Roychowdhury, DDG (Labs) BIS for this purpose.”
Kejriwal is the chairman of the Delhi Jal Board. The national capital goes to polls in February next year. The BIS report on the quality of drinking water in Delhi has the potential to cause immense damage to Kejriwal’s poll prospects. The BJP appears determined to use the BIS report to extract the much-needed electoral mileage.