New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal reached Chandigarh to meet Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar over the toxic smog wrapped around Delhi for over a week. He tweeted this morning that he is flying to the city to meet Khattar over Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who also works out of Chandigarh, refused to meet Kejriwal, saying he does not have "the same luxury of time" as the Delhi Chief Minister.Kejriwal flew to Chandigarh along with Delhi's environment minister Imran Hussain and a senior bureaucrat secretary, he said, "to discuss issues related to pollution with Hon'ble CM of Haryana and his team. Look forward to a fruitful discussion."
"Kejriwal's tendency to indulge in petty street politics is well known," said the Punjab Chief Minister, who asserts that the Centre must take the initiative to find a long-term solution to an inter-state problem and that a meeting of chief ministers will yield nothing. Captain also alleged on Tuesday that Delhi's pollution crisis has been caused by "mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development" and that instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, "Kejriwal wants to waste time with holding useless discussions." Haryana's ML Khattar has agreed to meet Kejriwal, but he too has accused the Delhi chief minister of "politicising pollution" like Amarinder Singh has. The Kejriwal-Khattar meeting today came about after a strange back-and-forth earlier this week; both said publicly that while they were willing to meet, the other side seemed unavailable. Kejriwal finally tweeted that "Khattarji had called" and he would travel to Chandigarh today to meet him. Khattar, he said, had refused to meet him while on a two-day visit to Delhi this week. Khattar had said earlier that while he would be in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday, "there is no response from your office on meeting," to which Kejriwal tweeted, "Sir, my office is constantly trying to fix meeting." The exchanges between the chief ministers began after Arvind Kejriwal said last week that he had written to his two counterparts requesting to meet them, but had not been given appointments. The Chief Ministers' spat and public sparring has been criticized by experts as a distraction from what has been described by doctors as a public health crisis in Delhi - a thick cloud of toxic smog 10 times the recommended limit. The smog has been blamed on dust from construction, vehicle exhaust and the illegal crop burning in the neighbouring states.