Cong says will provide subsided power up to 600 units
The Congress on Thursday promised to provide subsidised electricity up to 600 units if voted to power in the Delhi elections and demanded a CBI enquiry into the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s free power scheme.
The party alleged that the AAP government was extending “undue benefits” to power discoms in the name of giving power subsidy and demanded a CBI enquiry, drawing a sharp reaction from AAP.
“Unlike the Kejriwal government, which has been using public money to benefit the power discoms, we will give relief to consumers up to 600 units. We promise that if the Congress comes to power, we will transfer the subsidy directly into the bank accounts of consumers. This will be a major part of our manifesto in the upcoming elections,” Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra told reporters during a press conference. The Delhi government has been providing free electricity to households that consume up to 200 units.
Calling the allegations baseless, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, said, “The Congress was in power in Delhi for 15 years. They could have given the relief then. They are ruling at least five states where they should first extend the subsidy up to 600 units and establish their claim so that the people in Delhi can even come to believe it.”
Chopra accused the Arvind Kejriwal government of wasting public money by purchasing power at a higher rate. “The power subsidy, which should have gone directly to consumers, is being extended to power companies. The AAP had stated in its manifesto before coming to power in 2015 that it will give the subsidy to Delhi Transco Limited, which is a government undertaking. However, it is going directly to private discoms,” Chopra alleged.
The Delhi Congress chief said work on providing power subsidy first took place under the Congress government led by Shiela Diskhit. “I must remind Kejriwal that it was the Congress that first started giving power subsidy, which was only taken forward by his government.”
Senior Congress leader and chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said if the Congress wins, it will set up new power plants. “The present government has not done anything to set up new power plants. We plan to set up five such plants and produce our own power,” said Sharma.
Chopra said the Congress government led by Dikhshit had given a new shape to Delhi by investing in infrastructure development, which the Kejriwal government did not. “Had the government worked on improving infrastructure, in particular in areas with a dangling web of cables..so many deaths in the recent incidents of fire, be it Ananj Mandi or Kirari, could have been averted,” Chopra alleged.
He called on the chief minister to have an open debate with him over subjects including education, health, transport and infrastructure, among others. “We will come out with a post-mortem report of all the achievements listed by the AAP in its recently released report card. We will expose them,” he said.
Chopra accused AAP of suddenly going mum on the BJP-ruled central government ahead of the elections. “It took them (AAP government) four days to react to the atrocities inflicted by the police on students of Jamia Millia Islamia. Previously, they would attack the BJP even on non-issues. But this time even when students were tortured, it kept mum for days. The AAP and BJP are just two sides of the same coin.”