Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has refused to meet his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal over the issue of paddy stubble burning contributing to smog in Delhi, saying he “did not have the same luxury of time.” In a statement issued on Tuesday after a tweet by Kejriwal seeking a meeting with Amarinder, the Punjab CM said Kejriwal was trying to politicise a serious issue. The statement quoted Amarinder as saying that he failed to understand why the Delhi CM was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be meaningless and futile.
“Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known,” the statement quoted the Punjab CM saying, adding that the AAP leader was evidently “trying to divert public attention from his own government’s failure in Delhi to check the problem of pollution, as exposed by the response of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the ill-conceived odd-even scheme”.
“The problems faced by Delhi and Punjab on this count were completely divergent, with no meeting ground. Unlike Punjab, the Delhi problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development,” the statement said.
“As far as stubble burning was concerned, it was not a political issue that Kejriwal was trying to project it as but was an economic problem crying for economic solutions, which the central government alone was in a position to provide,” said the Punjab CM.
CM sends aide to take memo from Khaira
Amarinder sent his political secretary Capt Sandeep Singh Sandhu to accept a memorandum from Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira who was leading a protest of five AAP and LIP MLAs outside the Punjab Secretariat on Tuesday seeking saving of Punjab waters. The LOP holds a cabinet rank.