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CHANDIGARH: Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh yet again snubbed his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal after the latter reiterated his wish to meet him to discuss the issue of air pollution resulting from stubble burning.
Amarinder said he failed to understand why the Delhi chief minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be meaningless and futile. “The problems faced by Delhi and Punjab on this count were completely divergent, with no meeting ground, said Captain Amarinder, adding that, unlike Punjab, the Delhi problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development. Instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, Kejriwal wants to waste time holding useless discussions. I do not have the same luxury of time,” he said.
Kejriwal had earlier today tweeted, “@capt_amarinder Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wed to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest.” This follows Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar writing to Kejriwal, accepting his desire to meet him.
Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known, said the Punjab chief minister. Amrinder said that the Aam Aadmi Party (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.
“In any case, the Delhi chief minister has often been accused of leaving the national capital in the midst of a crisis and travelling to other places when his presence has been needed the most back home, Captain Amarinder pointed out, adding that the present instance was a case in point.
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 Amarinder, adding that he would continue to pursue with the Centre the matter of compensatory allowance for farmers to enable them to opt for alternatives to the dangerous practice of stubble burning.