The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sought criminal proceedings against the power distribution companies on Tuesday, hours after news reports suggested deliberated irregularities in the accounts of the three firms to seek higher tariffs.
The party also demanded that the CAG audit report be made public soon. The report, a copy of which is with HT, says the three private discoms --Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), BSES Rajdhani (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power (BYPL) -- inflated regulatory assets to the tune of Rs 7,956.91 crore to the detriment of the consumers.
The report comes as a shot in the arm for the party at a time when the party is engaged in a bitter fight over administrative control with the Centre and is being targeted by both the Congress and the BJP for allegedly spending more time in confrontations with its rivals than focusing on public welfare.
On Tuesday, it was a “we told you so” moment for the AAP that had made inflated power tariffs its main agenda in the run-up to the 2013 assembly polls in Delhi. Party leader and now Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had also gone on a hunger strike over the issue. When the party came to power for 49 days in early 2014, it had sought a CAG audit into the accounts of the three power discoms.
“The Delhi government should initiate criminal investigation in the case and recover public money by rationalising the tariffs. We also demand that the government take steps to so that the CAG report is made public at the earliest as whatever is known today is only through media reports,” said Deepak Bajpai, party’s spokesperson.
The party said the Delhi government should immediately ask the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to reject the discoms’ petitions for the tariff hike and decrease the power rates instead.
“BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) duped the people of Delhi Rs 1,062 crore, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) Rs 860 crore and Tata Power-DLL (TPDDL) Rs 1,098 core,” said AAP Delhi unit secretary Saurabh Bhardwaj.
The Delhi government is likely to move court to vacate the stay on making the CAG report on finances of the three private distribution companies public.
Bhardwaj and Bajpai said the CAG report vindicates the party’s stand against the discoms in Delhi. “The proposed tariff hike need to be scrapped and government members in DERC be replaced,” Bhardwaj said.
Bharadwaj also attacked the Sheila Dikshit government and the BJP, saying that both the parties have helped the private power companies.
“The then DERC chairman Brijender Singh had said the power bills should be reduced by 23%. Sheila Dikshit knew about this, but did not say anything. Even the BJP was aware of this but they chose to remain quiet. It was only when the AAP started talking about it the issue came to light,” Bharadwaj said.
The party also attacked the Delhi Regulatory Electricity Commission (DERC) for not checking the books of the power discoms.