BJP doesn’t support SC’s cracker ban: Tajinder Bagga

The Delhi BJP spokesperson calls SC’s ban on the sale of crackers as “anti-Hindu” and “anti-Indian”

Photo taken from Bagga’s Twitter profile
Photo taken from Bagga’s Twitter profile

Dhairya Maheshwari

The sentiment in the Bharatiya Janata Party is against Supreme Court's ban on the sale of firecrackers in the Capital region, BJP's Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga has said.

'We are against a blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers during Diwali. We supported the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 when it asked Centre to ensure that people didn't burst firecrackers beyond 10 PM. The SC ruling, on Oct 9, banning the sale is very anti-traditional, anti-Hindu and anti-Indian," Bagga told National Herald.

"This is like a selective ban on celebration of Hindu festival," Bagga added. He compared the cracker ban to earlier PILs filed against Jallikattu (bull fighting festival) by animal rights advocates in Tamil Nadu, and Garba celebrations in Gujarat for causing noise pollution.

The BJP spokesperson is seen running a campaign that critics say directly challenges Supreme Court's order on the sale of crackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) till November 1.

On Tuesday, he posted a video of himself on Twitter in which he was seen handing out firecrackers to children in Hari Nagar, a neighbourhood in west Delhi. Bagga also put up pictures of himself in which he was giving away firecrackers to children in several other localities, including in Maya Puri and Tihar Village.

Bagga, however, says that the firecrackers he was distributing were purchased from outside the capital.

He has doubled down in the face of criticism and other BJP leaders have started coming out in support of the stand. Madhya Pradesh's chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said that crackers would be burst this Diwali as well. Earlier, MP's Home Minister Bhupendra Singh invited Delhiites to "celebrate Diwali in MP" in the wake of SC's ban.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan was on Oct 9 shut out by supporters of his own party after he tweeted out support for SC's order on the ban sale of firecrackers.

Photo courtesy: DNA India
Photo courtesy: DNA India
A screenshot of Dr Harsh Vardhan’s now deleted tweets in support of SC’s order

The tweets were apparently deleted after vicious trolling by those opposed to the ban on the sale of firecrackers.

"What's the point of banning the sale of firecrackers only until Nov 1. Firecrackers are used around Christmas and the New Year's eve too. The ruling is just a veneer meant to target Hindu traditions and customs," Bagga said.

He further cited an IIT study that gauged the impact of firecrackers on air pollution as being just 1 per cent. "It is known that the smog problem caused last year was due to the burning of agricultural waste in the farms of Punjab and Haryana. But nobody is talking about that now," he said.

He informed NH that the BJP was planning on challenging the SC's ban. "Diwali is round the corner so not much would come out of challenging the ban now. But we are for a controlled use of firecrackers so we are considering legal options," Bagga said.

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