Despite Balbir Singh Seechewal’s ‘green manifesto’, environment not a burning issue in Punjab : The Tribune India

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Despite Balbir Singh Seechewal’s ‘green manifesto’, environment not a burning issue in Punjab

Despite Balbir Singh Seechewal’s ‘green manifesto’, environment not a burning issue in Punjab

Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Singh Seechewal hands over his environmental manifesto to Congress candidate Charanjit Singh Channi in Jalandhar. photo: Malkiat Singh



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, May 3

Despite the adverse impacts of climate change on agricultural produce in the state and the fast depleting groundwater reserves across regions including Doaba, climate change has failed to be a key issue in Punjab ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

Aam Aadmi Party’s own RS MP Balbir Singh Seechewal is the only politician in the state who has called for declaring environmental protection as key agenda ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.

Seechewal has recently released his own environmental manifesto addressed to all parties with the title: “Rajneetik partiyan nu sawal — Kitthe hai sada rangla Punjab? Kitthe hai sade hisse di saaf hawa, pani, khurak” (Question to political parties — Where is our vibrant Punjab? Where is our clean water, air, food?), which he gives to all political leaders and LS poll candidates who call on him.

Balbir Singh Seechewal, along with other MPs, had recently come under question over his silence after AAP Delhi CM Kejriwal’s arrest and for not changing his profile picture to the one bearing Kejriwal’s photograph behind bars. However, the MP is known to have accepted RS membership after telling the party that he would not participate in political events. Following the controversy, he had recently called on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh in Delhi.

Apart from Jalandhar AAP candidate Pawan Tinu, Seechewal has met SAD candidate Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Congress’ Charanjit Singh Channi (who met him today), to whom he has been handing over his manifesto ahead of the election. However, his environmental agenda is yet to gain traction as a key issue among candidates.

The 13-point manifesto released by Seechewal raises the issue of nine Punjab districts reeling under climate change; various districts (Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar among others) likely to be starved of water by 2050; forest area in Punjab reduced to only 6 per cent compared to 40 per cent in 1947 and the necessity of diversifying the crop cycle.

Seechewal has been raising the issue of environment during other polls, even prior to him being declared AAP’s Rajya Sabha nominee in 2022. The 2022 Assembly poll also saw the environmentalist releasing a ‘Green Manifesto Punjab 2022’.

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#Balbir Singh Seechewal #Climate change #Doaba #Environment #Groundwater #Lok Sabha


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