Sonia Gandhi shifts to Jaipur as Delhi’s air pollution spikes

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi have temporarily shifted to Jaipur as Delhi’s air pollution level spiked on Tuesday after Diwali. Air quality in parts of the national capital continued in ‘Severe’ category on Tuesday morning as the city woke up once again to smog that limited visibility.

On Tuesday Sonia Gandhi visited Shanti Van memorial along with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to pay tribute to India’s first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, on his birth anniversary. 

Sonia Gandhi has been admitted to hospital two months ago and reportedly suffers from respiratory issues. On Tuesday, Sonia Gandhi was seen wearing a mask, amid Delhi’s severe air pollution. 

According to media reports, Sonia Gandhi was advised by her doctors to shift to a place where the air is not so polluted as in Delhi. Therefore Sonia Gandhi with son Rahul Gandhi arrived at Jaipur on Tuesday. 

The two were accompanied by All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal.

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“It is a private visit. There is air pollution in Delhi, that’s why,” Venugopal said in Hindi when reporters at the airport asked him about the reason for Sonia Gandhi’s visit to poll-bound Rajasthan.

The visit comes amid the campaign for the November 25 assembly polls in Rajasthan, where the Congress hopes to return to power.

A party spokesperson told PTI that Sonia Gandhi has come from Delhi on a four-day visit due to health issues – a reference to Venugopal’s remark on air pollution.

Her son Rahul Gandhi came from Madhya Pradesh, where he had campaigned in the assembly polls there, and was scheduled to leave Jaipur Wednesday morning.

He will be back again in Rajasthan on Thursday to address election rallies in Tara Nagar (Churu), Nohar (Hanumangarh) and Sadulshahar (Sriganganagar) that day, the party said.

Delhi Air Pollution 

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 9 am on 13 November in Delhi was at 361, which is considered ‘Severe’.

At 6 am the AQI recorded at RK Puram was 417, Punjabi Bagh (410) ITO (430) Jahangirpuri (428), Anand Vihar (355), Ashok Vihar (355), IGI Airport T3 (426) and Rohini (417).

The effects of the recent rain in the national capital wore off on Monday when the city recorded an AQI of 358 at 4 pm (an average of the past 24 hours), which falls under ‘Very Poor’ category after Diwali Sunday night. The air quality soon dropped to ‘Severe’ category later in the afternoon, after which a haze engulfed the city making the visibility short.

Despite the Supreme Court’s ban on firecrackers to mitigate pollution, people in several parts of the national capital flouted the ban by bursting fireworks.

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Updated: 14 Nov 2023, 08:55 PM IST

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