The tussle between the state and Centre over the power crisis has intensified, with Union power minister Piyush Goyal accusing Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan of politicising the crisis.
He threatened to expose the UPA, which he said was responsible for the mess, if the chief minister continued to make allegations against the NDA.
Goyal said, in response to Chavan’s allegations that the Centre did not help the state increase electricity generation, that his ministry was all prepared to assist, but Chavan did not find it appropriate to take his concerns to New Delhi.
“Since I became power minister, I have made many attempts to reach out to the state. While 18 states have come forth, Maharashtra has not responded yet. May be because the CM has other priorities,” he told HT, via video-conferencing from New Delhi on Sunday.
Goyal said Chavan should stop casting baseless allegations, or else he too would give a fitting reply. “Main bhi bahot sare chitte pitte khol sakta hun [I can also expose UPA]. The UPA is the root cause of this problem that I have inherited. They should bear in mind that it will damage them [Congress-NCP] further if they continue to politicise the issue,” he said.
While launching Congress’ campaign for the assembly elections a week ago, Chavan had blamed the Centre for the drop in power generation in the state. He said the Centre did not help the state resolve the power crisis for political reasons.
Goyal, a Rajya Sabha MP from Mumbai, said he facilitated a dialogue between private players and the state some days ago, though the Centre did not have any jurisdiction to resolve the sub-judice issue of compensatory charges to be given to power producers.
“It’s a matter related to the five states and the courts will decide it. I cannot help when the state is not willing to act, but politicise the issue ahead of elections.”
Coal and water shortage has impacted power generation in Maharashtra’s state-owned and private power plants. The situation turned grave after private players Adani Power, Tata Power and IndiaBulls, who are legally bound to supply power to the state at certain rates, dropped their production. The state energy department fears the worst when electricity shortage increases beyond 2,000MW daily and prolonged power cuts are imposed ahead of the state polls.