The Delhi government’s latest advertisement on ‘odd-even’ scheme featuring chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in ‘mufflerman’ avatar, was on Thursday pilloried by the BJP and Congress for having “blatantly circumvented” the Supreme Court guidelines and violated the “spirit of law”.
With his back towards the camera, Kejriwal appears in the ad with a muffler wrapped around his neck and head and praises the efforts of traffic police and volunteers in making the car rationing scheme a success.
Kejriwal, who appears inseparable from the accessory during the winter months, says “we need to win the minds” of people and advises volunteers not to fight with violators.
In the 1 minute 32 seconds advertisement, Kejriwal narrates the tale of a certain volunteer, who apparently managed to change the heart of an errant motorist by politely nudging him to follow the scheme.
“If you spot a violator, fold your hands and politely remind him. No need to fight or argue. Just tell him that you have probably taken out the wrong numbered car by mistake,” Kejriwal says.
Vijender Gupta, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said through the advertisement the ruling AAP was indulging in “petty politics”, while Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee felt it betrayed Kejriwal’s “scant respect” for law and institutions.
The CM’s act is “unethical” and amounts to encouraging people to violate the law, Gupta said. “Technical arguments that the face is not visible won’t cut ice. As a citizen he has not set a good example,” he said.
Mukherjee said the government could have easily opted for a different advertisement format to make people aware of the scheme, which was launched on the new year and is proposed to conclude on January 15.
“He (Kejriwal) does not abide by the Transaction of Business Rules. Violates the spirit of the law. Does he have no respect for institutions?” she said.
Describing “personality cult” as anti-thesis of democracy, the Supreme Court had in May last year barred publication of photos of leaders in government advertisements except those of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.