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BJP calls Delhi ‘gas chamber’, Kejriwal wants Modi’s government to resign over pollution

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As Delhi residents continued to breathe toxic air, the ruling AAP exchanged blame with the BJP-led center over who is responsible for air pollution in the national capital.

Pankaj Jain

New Delhi,UPDATED: November 3, 2022 09:21 IST

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said the central government should resign for failing to address the city’s air pollution.

By Pankaj Jain: As Delhi residents continued to breathe toxic air, the ruling Aam Aadmi party (AAP) engaged in a fierce altercation and exchanged blame with the BJP-led center over who is responsible for air pollution in the national capital.

Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, held the central government fully responsible for the deteriorating air quality in the city and called on her to resign for failing to address this annual threat.

“I agree that pollution is a problem, but it is a problem that has affected all of Northern India. But it is only shown as a problem in Delhi and Punjab. A narrative is being created that these two states are the cause of pollution. It is nothing but politics and the Center is not trying to find a solution for everyone,” he said.


Kejriwal also lashed out at the BJP for politicking the issue of pollution and blaming the stubble burning by farmers in Punjab for deteriorating air quality in Delhi.

“Why do the central government and the BJP hate the farmers so much? It is because of this hatred of the BJP towards the farmers that there is so much smoke in the air all over Northern India. We have to offer the farmers a solution. Whatever the Delhi government can do at its level, we are doing it,” the AAP chief said.

He added that in Delhi, water sprinklers are being used to settle the dust, construction work has been halted and the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has been implemented to combat air pollution. But instead of taking positive action, the center is targeting farmers, he claimed.

“If the central government fails to control pollution, it must resign. We will take the initiative to solve the problem of pollution forever,” Kejriwal said.

READ | Gopal Rai attacks BJP for politicking pollution, urges Delhites to follow 5-point call


On the other hand, the Union’s environment minister, Bhupender Yadav, carried out a scathing attack on the AAP to turn the national capital into a “gas chamber”. He claimed that AAP-ruled Punjab has seen farm fires increase by 19 percent by 2021, causing air pollution in Delhi to skyrocket.

“As of today, Punjab, a state run by the AAP government, has seen a more than 19% increase in farm fires in 2021. Haryana has seen a 30.6% decline. Just today Punjab saw 3,634 fires. There is no doubt who turned Delhi into a gas chamber,” Yadav said in a tweet.

BJP spokesman Shehzad Poonawala said the national capital was in a health crisis and accused the AAP government of refusing to accept its failures and putting the blame on farmers and the Center.

“AAP must stop blaming farmers and tell us what they have done about the causes of pollution in Delhi. How many industries were closed because of pollution? How many road vacuum cleaners bought? What steps against vehicle pollution? AAP has no real answers, which is why they blame the farmers,” he said.

Congressional MLA of Punjab Sukhpal Singh Khaira also tore in Kejriwal, alleging that the Delhi CM had consistently blamed the stubble burning in Punjab for the pollution problems in the national capital in recent years, but changed its tone when AAP formed the government in the state .

“For the past 8 years as CM ArvindKejriwal has failed miserably to improve Delhi’s air quality index and he is talking about making India the No. 1? All these years he very easily blamed PB for Delhi’s pollution while BhagwantMann now has started blaming Center for his failures,” Khaira tweeted.


Meanwhile, air quality in Delhi remained in the ‘very poor’ category. On Thursday morning, the city’s total AQI stood at 396, according to SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Union’s Department of Earth Sciences.

The air quality index in some parts of the national capital was already in the ‘severe’ category, with the Delhi University area having an AQI of 468, Pusa at 444 and Mundka at 429.

Air quality was no better in Delhi’s satellite cities: the AQI was 393 in Noida (UP), 318 in Gurugram (Haryana) and Faridabad (Haryana) at 417.


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