Three states, three par­ties and a thick­en­ing po­lit­i­cal fog


Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - HT cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­

CHANDI­GARH: Delhi chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal is sched­uled to meet his Haryana coun­ter­part, Manohar Lal Khat­tar, here on Wed­nes­day to take up the is­sue of stub­ble burn­ing that has had the na­tional cap­i­tal in the grip of a ter­ri­ble fog for a fort­night now.

How­ever, the meet­ing that he has sought with Pun­jab chief min­is­ter Amarinder Singh is un­likely to ma­te­ri­alise.

Amarinder, who had turned down Ke­jri­wal’s of­fer for a meet­ing last Wed­nes­day, once again snubbed the Delhi CM, say­ing he failed to un­der­stand the point of a dis­cus­sion know­ing well that it would be “mean­ing­less and


“Ke­jri­wal’s ten­dency to in­dulge in petty street pol­i­tics is well-known,” Singh told HT. “The AAP leader is 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.”

“Un­like Pun­jab, the Delhi prob­lem was the re­sult mainly of ur­ban pol­lu­tion caused by mis­man­aged trans­porta­tion and un­planned in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment,” he added. In­stead of fo­cus­ing on re­solv­ing these is­sues, Ke­jri­wal wanted to waste time hold­ing use­less dis­cus­sions, he said, adding he him­self did not have the lux­ury of so much time.

Singh said stub­ble burn­ing is not a po­lit­i­cal is­sue as Ke­jri­wal was try­ing to make out, but an eco­nomic one cry­ing for eco­nomic so­lu­tions, which the cen­tral gov­ern­ment alone is in a po­si­tion to pro­vide.

He said he would pur­sue with the Cen­tre the mat­ter of com­pen­sat­ing farm­ers to en­able them to opt for al­ter­na­tives to stub­ble burn­ing.

Ke­jri­wal had tweeted to Singh on Tues­day: “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 three chief min­is­ters have been blam­ing each other for the fog that has be­set the re­gion.

Khat­tar had called Pun­jab a “big­ger cul­prit” say­ing the state had not used “a penny out of ₹98 crore al­lot­ted to check farm fires while Haryana used ₹39 crore out of ₹45 crore al­lot­ted to it.”

Amarinder had said Ke­jri­wal “has his own view­points on ev­ery­thing with­out un­der­stand­ing the sit­u­a­tion”, while Ke­jri­wal had asked Pun­jab and Haryana to rise above pol­i­tics. The fall­out of not en­forc­ing the stub­ble burn­ing ban will last till next elec­tions.

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