Sparks fly as ministers air varying views on MP’s Diwali tourism

BHOPAL: A day after state home minister Bhupendra Singh extended an open invitation to Delhiites to celebrate the festival of lights in Madhya Pradesh in the wake of the Supreme Court ban on crackers this Diwali, cracks in the ruling dispensation emerged as ministers aired conflicting views on the issue even as Congress took potshots at them.
Appearing to contradict the home minister was environment minister Antar Singh Arya, who issued official statement on Wednesday pointing that crackers with noise exceeding 125 decibels will be banned. He also stated that in line with an apex court ruling, noisy fireworks will be prohibited between 10 pm to 6 am.
Meanwhile, extending their support to the Singh’s invite, some ministers said raking up of issues like air and sound pollution during Diwali and wastage of water in Holi is an ‘international conspiracy’ and society should stand united against it.
The opposition Congress lost no time in taking a dig at the BJP ministers.
“Such views coming from people holding constitutional posts is an irony. The home minister’s tweet is a contempt of court. Inviting people to burn their hard-earned money in the form of crackers and see it going up in smoke is like making fun of poor,” said Congress chief spokesman K K Mishra.
Recently, the central government had issued notifications to all states stating that the festival is to be celebrated as ‘Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali’, to curb the pollution levels.

“In Madhya Pradesh, there is full freedom to burst crackers on Diwali. Celebrate the festival with joy and invite your friends from Delhi to Madhya Pradesh,” the home minister tweeted. It triggered a flurry of comments — some gleeful, some outraged — but the biggest compliment the home minister received was from his boss, chief minister Chouhan, who not only liked them but also re-tweeted them.
Minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises Sanjay Satyendra Pathak also re-tweeted the home minister’s statement, among others.
Higher education minister, Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya said crackers do not harm the environment like the big industrial units do. Few people are having an agenda to rake up such issues during Diwali and Holi. Raising such issues will also affect the festivals of other communities. Festivals are integral part of the society and unite the country.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is also camping in Bhopal since the last one week. Three-day meeting of the RSS is beginning here from Thursday. Around 300 delegates from across the country are expected to take part in the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal (ABKM) meet, popularly known as the ‘Diwali Baithak’.

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