The issue of the inflated electricity bills being sent to Dalits of Rauke Kalan village in this district took a new turn on Saturday with the Congress leaders alleging that the bills had been sent only to the Congress workers at the behest of SAD.
Protesting against the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), agitated Congress workers of Nihal Singh Wala constituency staged a protest outside the power grid at Badhni Kalan on Saturday.
The angry Congressmen raised anti-SAD slogans and threatened that in case the PSPCL officials failed to remedy the situation, the Congress would boycott the electricity bills.
The PSPCL had allegedly sent electricity bills for amounts running from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000 to many Dalits, including to some deceased persons of the village, on Friday.
Ajit Singh Shant, former Congress MLA from Nihal Singh Wala, alleged that SAD had been harassing the poor. "After investigating the matter, the Congress found that the local PSPCL officials have been working under instructions from SAD leaders. The state government has been playing an anti-democratic role but our workers won't tolerate this," said Shant.
Jaswant Singh, panch of Rauke Kalan village, said no meter reader of the PSPCL had come to the Dalit houses for the past three years. "If PSPCL officials come to Dalit homes for cutting the power connection, we would not allow it and would gherao them," he said.
Rajwinder Kaur, SAD MLA from Nihal Singh Wala, said, "The officials of the electricity department are doing their job without any political pressure. Actually the Congress has lost its political ground in the state and is trying to mislead Dalits on baseless issues," she said.
Deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind said the administration had told the senior PSPCL officials to address the issue soon. He said he had ordered an inquiry into the matter.