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Against Kejriwal’s ‘pollution is North India’s problem’, Haryana minister points out higher burden of stubble burning in Punjab

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal noted on Saturday that deteriorating air quality and pollution levels were a problem across northern India and the Center should take steps to address it.

“This is not the time for blame games and politics, but to find a solution to the problem. Blaming Kejriwal or the Punjab government will not help,” he said at a news conference.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann, accepted that the stubble burning in Punjab was his party’s responsibility, as the government is there.

“Since our government is in Punjab, we are responsible for the stubble burning. It’s only been six months since we formed the government there and there were issues that were addressed. We look for solutions. Give us a year to address the problem,” Kejriwal said.

Mann agreed and said there was a lot of paddy, which resulted in a huge amount of stubble. “We are taking measures as if there were 1.20 lakh machines to bury stubble. Panchayats have also passed resolutions to stop the burning of stubble. We promise that by November next year the stubble burn will decrease,” he emphasized.

Kejriwal also called for Center to take the lead in providing a solution for stubble burning. This problem has gone to Bihar. Similar steps should also be taken by other governments, he said.

BJP leader Manoj Tewari said to hit back at Kejriwal, saying he has no right to be the CM as he leaves Delhi teetering under pollution.

Shehzad Jai Hind, national spokesman for the BJP, said: “Finally, Kejriwal ji gave in to the voice of parents, reason and experts and orders the schools in Delhi to be closed. Should have done this a long time ago. Part-time CM only woke up when @BJP4Delhi said it would fix this problem on the streets and at LG. Why was he delayed? Who is responsible?”

Meanwhile, Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal said it is regrettable to blame Haryana for pollution. “Burning stubble is more in Punjab; Punjab has polluted Haryana. There have been more agricultural fires in Punjab than in Haryana,” he said.

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