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AAP turned Delhi into gas chamber: Union environment minister targets Kejriwal govt

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New Delhi, Nov 02: Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav targeted the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over Delhi's shocking levels of air pollution on Wednesday, blaming the party for turning the capital into a "gas chamber".

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Taking to Twitter, Bhupendra Yadav tweeted: "As of today, Punjab, a state run by the AAP government, has seen an over 19% rise in farm fires over 2021. Haryana has seen a 30.6% drop. Just today, Punjab saw 3,634 fires. There is no doubt over who has turned Delhi into a gas chamber."

"Scam is where AAP is. In the last 5 years, the Central Government gave Rs 1,347 crore for crop residue management machines to Punjab. The state bought 1,20,000 machines. 11,275 of those machines have gone missing. Money utilisation shows clear incompetence," he claimed.

"Last year, Rs 212 crore were left unspent. This year, the Central Govt gave Punjab Rs 280 crore for crop residue management machines. So about Rs 492 crore was available but the state govt chose to sit with the funds forcing helpless farmers to burn the crop residue," the minister wrote.

"The Chief Minister of Punjab has failed to even provide relief to farmers in his own turf of Sangrur. Last year (Sept 15-Nov 2) farm fires in Sangrur stood at 1,266. This year they have shot up by 139% rising to 3,025," Yadav said.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, however, slammed the BJP-led Centre for "targeting" Punjab farmers over farm fires, alleging that it wanted to avenge them for breaking its "arrogance" with a year-long agitation against the now-repealed agri laws.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday blamed the central government for rising incidents of stubble burning in Punjab and said it should "resign" if it cannot control air pollution.

"The Centre rejected the proposal. They said they won't do anything for the farmers because of their protests against the three farm laws. The central government's hatred for farmers is the reason behind the smoke (from farm fires) all around," Kejriwal claimed.

"If the Centre cannot control air pollution, it should resign. We will then show how to do it," he said.

3,634 farm fires in Punjab on Wednesday, the highest this year so far, 1,842 on Tuesday and 2,131 on Monday, according to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

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