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Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

CM Kejriwal to refrain from indulging in ‘petty street politics’: Punjab CM Amrindra Singh

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AmarinderSingh-afpCHANDIGRAH : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday slammed Arvind Kejriwal over his plea for a meeting on stubble-burning and air pollution in the National Capital Region and asked the Delhi CM to refrain from indulging in ‘petty street politics’. Mr Singh has reiterated his stand that a meeting will be of no use and said he does not have “the same luxury of time” as Mr Kejriwal.

Singh said he failed to understand why the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be “meaningless and futile”. Further, the Punjab CM alleged that Kejriwal was “trying to divert” public attention from his government’s “failure” to check the problem of pollution in Delhi, as exposed in the National Green Tribunal’s response to the “ill-conceived” odd-even scheme. Singh said.
The Punjab Chief Minister’s reply this evening was tweeted by his media adviser Raveen Thukral: “Stop politicising the #pollution issue, you know any meeting between us would be useless, and in any case now that the apex court is also seized of the matter, let us leave it to them and the central govt to find long-term solutions.”
Arvind Kejriwal has blamed the burning of crop stubble by farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana as the major cause of the spiking pollution in Delhi. “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,” the Delhi chief minister had tweeted to Amarinder Singh, who had last week called Mr Kejriwal a “peculiar person with views on everything but no understanding.”
The problems faced by the national capital and Punjab on this count were completely different with no meeting ground, Singh maintained. He added that unlike Punjab, Delhi’s problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by “mismanaged” transportation and “unplanned” industrial development. His response came after Kejriwal sought a meeting with him in Chandigarh.

Kejriwal is scheduled to arrive in Chandigarh on Wednesday to meet his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar. Meanwhile, the national capital on Tuesday saw improvement in the air quality with six out of 15 regions recording “very poor” levels rather than “severe” for the first time in the past week.

With wind speed almost doubling as compared to last week and chances of drizzle in NCR and neighbouring states, the air quality is set to improve further, falling under “very poor” or “poor” category, experts said.  According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) the average AQI of Delhi-NCR was 398 while the major pollutant PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm recorded 397 units at 6 pm – considered “very poor”.
In Chandigarh, Mr Singh said he “failed to understand why the Delhi Chief Minister is trying to force my hand, knowing well that any such discussion will be meaningless and futile.” He accused Mr Kejriwal, who trying to divert attention from his government’s failure to check pollution in Delhi. “Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics is well known,” the Punjab Chief Minister said.

Tomorrow, Mr Kejirwal is set to meet ML Khattar, the Chief Minister of Haryana, with whom an appointment was fixed after a strange back-and-forth; both said publicly that while they were willing to meet, the other side seemed unavailable.

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