Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has refused to meet his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal to discuss pollution caused by stubble burning, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. Crop burning is one of several factors that has caused the air quality to deteriorate in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.
Kejrwal, who is scheduled to meet Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday, had requested Singh for an appointment.
Singh responded to Kejriwal’s request on Tuesday by accusing him of indulging in “petty street politics” to shift attention away from the Delhi government’s failure to tackle the problem, The Hindu reported.
“Unlike Punjab, the Delhi problem was the result mainly of urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development,” Singh said. “Instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, Kejriwal wanted to waste time holding useless discussions.”
The issue of stubble burning, the Punjab chief minister added, “was not a political issue that Kejriwal was trying to project it as but an economic problem”. He said it required “economic solutions” that only the Centre can provide.
The Punjab chief minister made similar arguments last week, saying inter-state talks on the issue would prove to be futile.