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Cricketers wearing masks on field in Delhi: Mamata mocks Swachh Bharat programme

The West Bengal chief minister said she was ashamed at the sight of cricketers with masks on the field.

kolkata Updated: Dec 05, 2017 14:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mamata Banerjee,Sri Lanka,Cricketers
The Bengal chief minister said masks have become an integral part of life in the country’s capital.(HT Photo)

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched a broadside against the Swachh Bharat programme on Tuesday and said Sri Lankan cricketers wearing masks on the field in Delhi proved its failure.

“What happened to the Swachh Bharat campaign? Sri Lankan cricketers are playing with masks in the field in the capital. From political pollution to weather pollution, Delhi represents it all,” remarked the mercurial politician who stepped up her criticism of the NDA government at the Centre since returning to power for a second time in May 2016.

Read: Delhi pollution: Gasping Sri Lankan cricketer vomits at Kotla, players wear masks; Indians undaunted

“It’s perhaps the political pollution that is causing so much air pollution,” she remarked. The chief minister was speaking at a function of the minority affairs department of her government at Netaji Indoor Stadium.

“From eating to playing, masks are needed in Delhi for a number of activities,” said Mamata Banerjee.

She has maintained that her government’s ‘Nirmal Bangla’ (Clean Bengal) programme predates Swachh Bharat campaign that was launched on October 2, 2014.

Read: European satellite captures alarming pollution over north India

The Sri Lankan cricket team on Sunday took to the field wearing anti-pollution masks while fielding on the third day of the Kotla Test against India, complaining of poor air quality. They continued wearing it on the subsequent days.

Tuesday was the second day when she took a jibe at the pollution in Delhi.

On Monday, Mamata Banerjee told the media at the state secretariat that she was “ashamed” at the sight of Sri Lankan cricketers donning pollution masks while playing in the national capital.

Read: India, Sri Lanka cricketers exposed to pollution levels 3 times that for spectators

“It’s not a good scene that the a visiting team is playing an international game wearing masks. Pollution is worsening everyday. This is not earning a good name for the country. I think Delhi must control pollution. Delhi must sit together and decide on it (pollution issue),” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat on Monday.

“I felt very ashamed (seeing the Sri Lankan cricketers wearing masks) otherwise I would not have said this...This is not a political issue but a genuine issue,” the chief minister said.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 14:36 IST