Eye on polls, Arvind Kejriwal promises free electricity in Punjab
Delhi CM claims electricity is expensive in Punjab despite it being a power-surplus state because there is a nexus between the government and private power companies
Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday that if the AAP was voted to power in the assembly elections early next year, it would ensure 300 units of free electricity to each household.
“Punjab is a power surplus state, but still has the most expensive power in the country. In Delhi, we buy power and provide electricity at the cheapest rates. Power is expensive in Punjab because there is a nexus between the government and (private) power companies. If this nexus is ended, we can reduce the power rates in the state,” Kejriwal said at a press conference in Chandigarh.
Kejriwal’s guarantee, not Capt’s promises
Announcing three guarantees, he said if the AAP wins in Punjab, “Our government will give 300 units of free electricity to each household. 77-80% households in Punjab will get zero bill. Secondly, all pending bills of domestic connections will be written off. Thirdly, 24-hour supply will be ensured as the state has surplus power.”
He clarified that free power is for domestic consumers with consumption of up to 300 units. If power consumption exceeds 300 units, the consumer will have to pay the bill.
He said these were Kejriwal’s guarantees, not Capt’s (Amarinder Singh) promises. “As soon as the AAP government is formed, we will ensure free power and write off pending bills of consumers of domestic supply category,” Kejriwal declared.
He was accompanied by state AAP president Bhagwant Mann, leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly Harpal Singh Cheema, Punjab affairs in-charge and Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh and AAP spokesperson and Punjab affairs co-incharge Raghav Chadha besides former Indian Police Service officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.
Will replicate Delhi model
“I am sure these announcements will make everyone, particularly women, in Punjab happy,” the Delhi chief minister said.
“We have done this in Delhi in six years where people get free power and the government and power companies are in profit. We will do it in Punjab in the same way. Yeh jadoo hai hamein hi karna aata hai (Only the AAP knows how to make this possible). I have done my calculations,” Kejriwal said.
Free power will continue for farmers
Farmers will continue to get it free and consumers of other categories will continue to get it at the present rate, Kejriwal said. “There is no dearth of money in Punjab, but it lacks a government with acchi neeyat (good intentions),” he added.