Delhi pollution: Amarinder Singh refuses to meet Arvind Kejriwal again on crop stubble burning issue

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Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday again ruled out a meeting with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, who wanted to hold talks over the issue of crop stubble burning, asking him not to “politicize” the serious matter.

Singh claimed he failed to understand why Kejriwal was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be “meaningless and futile”.

The Punjab chief minister’s response came after Kejriwal sought a meeting with him in Chandigarh on Wednesday. “Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wednesday to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest,” Kejriwal tweeted on Tuesday.

Singh alleged that Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known. He said Kejriwal should stop politicizing the serious issue of crop stubble burning. He alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader 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.

The problems faced by Delhi and Punjab on this count were completely different with no meeting ground, Singh said. He said unlike Punjab, Delhi’s problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by “mismanaged” transportation and “unplanned” industrial development. Instead of focusing his attention on resolving these issues, Kejriwal wanted to “waste” time holding “useless” discussions, Singh alleged, adding that he, unfortunately, did not have the same luxury of time.

The Punjab chief minister dubbed Kejriwal’s proposed visit to Chandigarh as another example of him allegedly leaving Delhi in the midst of a crisis. “How else can one explain Kejriwal’s desperation to seek a meeting with me at this juncture, especially when I had categorically rejected such a suggestion earlier,” Singh claimed.

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