NEW DELHI: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday termed the Aam Aadmi Party's proposed protest outside Punjab Bhawan over the alleged inaction by the state in controlling stubble burning as an "obvious political stunt" with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections in the national capital.
Singh lashed out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the latter's "brazen lies" on the issue of air pollution.
The air pollution in the national capital was directly related to the rampant construction activity, widespread industrialisation and total mismanagement of the city traffic, said Amarinder, hitting out at his Delhi counterpart for trying to "divert public attention from his own government's failures" by indulging in such "outright lies".
By blaming others for his own lapses, Kejriwal was showing signs of his poor leadership, the Chief Minister said in a statement.
Describing Kejriwal as a "liar", the Punjab chief minister accused him of resorting to "political gimmickry" after failing to seriously address the pollution problem in Delhi in the past five years.
"Now that Delhi was reeling under dangerously hazardous levels of pollution, the AAP chief had suddenly decided to turn his attention to the critical issue," Amarinder Singh said, questioning the Delhi chief minister on the steps taken by his government to tackle the problem.
Kejriwal's claim that stubble burning in neighbouring states was responsible for the horrendous situation in Delhi was absolutely ludicrous, especially considering that the number of farm fires in Punjab had actually been the same as last year, said the chief minister.
If stubble burning was the primary cause of Delhi's air pollution, as Kejriwal claimed it to be, then how could he explain the atrociously high AQI in the national capital even during months of December and January, asked Amarinder Singh.
The Chief Minister asked Kejriwal to explain how he could blame Punjab when the AQI levels in the state, where the stubble fires were taking place, were much better than Delhi.
"The sudden spike in pollution levels in Delhi post-Diwali was quite evidently linked with the firecrackers, which Kejriwal and his government failed to control despite the Supreme Court's directives in this regard," said the Punjab Chief Minister, pointing out that the national capital's PM 2.5 concentration had, as per reports, actually been lower this year than in the past.
Reports suggest that AQI in Delhi, which was recorded at 163 at 5.30 pm on Diwali day, touched 1,005 around 11.30 pm the same night due to a sudden spurt in firecrackers.
Is Kejriwal so dumb that he could not see the correlation between these figures and the current AQI levels in Delhi, said Amarinder Singh, asking the chief minister of the national capital to refrain from resorting to such theatrics.
AAP has been totally wiped out already from the political scene in Punjab and elsewhere and Kejriwal's decision to resort to street politics clearly indicated that he was looking at an imminent defeat even in Delhi, which had evidently prompted him to resort to such theatrics, said the Punjab chief minister.