The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today termed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Chandigarh as a “sinister media stunt” staged with the sole purpose of “befooling” people of Delhi, Punjab and the rest of the country. The opposition party in Punjab said the visit was a “flop show” as it did not yield anything.
Kejriwal held parleys earlier in the day with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to check pollution in the national capital. Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh, SAD leader and former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the AAP supremo was in the habit of inventing a make-belief solution to the problems faced by people of Delhi.
“Last year, he came up with the odd-even scheme and spent crores of rupees on a media blitz to take political mileage of the same. This year he has come up with the idea of meeting the chief ministers of Haryana and Punjab with the sole purpose of flogging these meetings as an achievement,” he said.
“All Kejriwal could say after the meeting with his Haryana counterpart was that concern had been expressed about health issues due to stubble burning. Kejriwal could have expressed this sentiment on the phone, but chose to indulge in cheap publicity on this sensitive issue even though he knew that the talks (with his Haryana counterpart) would not have any outcome,” he said.
Dhindsa said stubble burning alone was not responsible for the smog situation in Delhi. “If that was so, Chandigarh would have been the worst sufferer. The truth is that Kejriwal has failed to check vehicular pollution and is now trying to blame the farmers of Punjab and Haryana for his own failures. If the Delhi chief minister is serious about this issue, he should provide financial assistance to the neighbouring states to tackle stubble burning. Agriculture equipment and the establishment of biomass plants can provide a lasting solution to utilise paddy straw,” he said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh asked Kejriwal not to “outsource the solutions to his own problems”. He said, Kejriwal, by trying to involve the Punjab and Haryana governments, was only aiming at shifting the blame and diverting the attention of the people of Delhi.