AAP Punjab chief quits over Kejriwal's apology

ਮੈਂ ਆਮ ਆਦਮੀ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨਗੀ ਦੇ ਅਹੁਦੇ ਤੋਂ ਅਸਤੀਫ਼ਾ ਦੇ ਰਿਹਾ ਹਾਂ ..
I m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab …but my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an “Aam Aadmi “ of Punjab

— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) March 16, 2018 Mann, who represents the Sangrur parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha, was appointed the state party chief in May 2017. On Thursday, Kejriwal withdrew his allegations and an application regarding the same was filed in a trial court in Amritsar, where a defamation case filed by Bikram Singh Majithia against the Delhi Chief Minister on May 20, 2016, is being heard. “This proves that they were raking up the issue to tarnish my image and harm me and gain politically,” Majithia, who is the brother-in-law of Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal, told reporters here on Thursday. “I will withdraw the case, which I had filed for what is right and for my own and my family’s honour.” Majithia said another AAP leader Ashish Khetan too had submitted his offer of regret. In the letter, Kejriwal said: “In the recent past, I made certain statements and allegations against you regarding your alleged involvement in the drug trade. These statements became a political issue. “Now, I’ve learnt that the allegations are unfounded. Hence, there should be no politics on such issues… “I, hereby, withdraw all my statements and allegations made against you and apologise for the same.” (IANS)]]>

Green panel castigates Delhi govt on pollution

The National Green Tribunal on Monday pulled up the Delhi government for its “lackadaisical” approach over rising pollution levels in the city, a day after bad air quality plaguing the capital for several weeks interrupted play during the ongoing Test match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here.

The tribunal chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar, in his sharp remarks rapped the authorities for allowing the match in the city despite bad air quality. “Every newspaper has been carrying headline that the air pollution was going to be higher this week. Still, you took no action. Even the players were playing the match wearing masks. You should not have held the match if the air quality was so bad. Are people of Delhi supposed to bear this?” Kumar said. Kumar lashed out at the government for not filing a comprehensive action plan on how to battle the rising air pollution despite the green court’s specific order on November 28, asking the authorities in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to submit their proposals on curbing bad air quality. The governments in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan have already filed their action plans with the tribunal. The Delhi government sought more time on the contention that its Chief Secretary and environment secretary were recently changed and the new officers needed to settle down to finalize the plan. But the court apparently was not impressed with the reason. “Where is your action plan? Why have you not submitted it? What can we do if you keep on changing everybody? It’s not our problem if people don’t want to stick to you. “You keep on doing meetings but tell us a single action or a step you have taken in the last four days to combat air pollution,” the court said. The court said that the government was adopting a “lackadaisical” approach in dealing with the situation even as pollution had crossed alarming levels in the city and directed it to file the report by Wednesday. Referring to the India-Sri Lanka Test match, which was stalled on Sunday after Lankans were said to have complained to match officials that they felt like vomiting due to poor air quality, the court said: “Look at people abandoning (the) match.” The visitors on Sunday wore face masks to combat smog pollution amid disruption in the third Test against India. Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said his players had to come off the field after they felt like vomiting. The play, however, continued uninterrupted on Monday even as indicators showed pollution levels rising to “hazardous” levels. The overall air quality index in the capital was 375 – considered to be “very poor” and hazardous to health. The tribunal also pulled up the Delhi government for not introducing odd-even car rationing scheme at this point in time when the air quality was severe. “You want exemptions for two-wheelers but you don’t apply your mind that these 60 lakh vehicles cause the maximum pollution,” the court said. (IANS) // ]]>