As Delhi faces the wrath of air pollution with dipping levels of air quality and the toxic smog engulfing the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought an important meeting with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh after stubble burning in the neighbouring state is considered the major reason behind the deteriorating value of air quality. But, Kejriwal’s own party leader in Punjab seems to be unfollowing him.
Sukhpal Khaira, Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, led a farmers’ protest in Samrala in Ludhiana on October 15 and burnt paddy stubble. Opposing the state government’s decision to book farmers who burn stubble, Khaira flaunted photographs of the protest. He can be seen lighting paddy stubble in the presence of AAP workers carrying flags with Kejriwal’s photograph.
Khaira said the protest was against the Congress government which is harassing the farmers on the stubble burning issues. Khaira said that rather than filing FIRs against farmers burning crop, the state government should provide equipment and machinery on rent to dispose the stubble.
“The Punjab government has failed to carry out the instructions of NGT and farmers are suffering huge losses and committing suicide. Insofar as Delhi government is concerned, their stand is also right”, Khaira was quoted saying by IE.
“If the farmers were to plough the paddy stubble into the fields, it would cost them Rs 4,000-5,000 per acre and the state government says it cannot compensate them”, added Khaira.