Arvind Kejriwal offers 300 units free electricity to Uttarakhand if AAP wins
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal promised 300 units of free electricity to people in Uttarakhand if his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was elected to power in the assembly elections next year. Kejriwal’s offer comes four days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state promised to provide the first 100 units of electricity for free and the next 100 at 50% discount.
Kejriwal gave four guarantees related to electricity: “First we will provide 300 units of free electricity, which will have a financial implication of around ₹1200 crore. Second, people won’t have to pay old pending and inflated bills. Third, there will be no power cuts in the state; electricity will be provided 24X7 and fourth, farmers in the state will get free electricity for farming purposes”, he said.
Kejriwal asked why people in Uttarakhand had to pay a heavy amount for power despite the state producing electricity in good quantity and why no party in the state had thought of providing free power to residents till now.
Kejriwal said the Uttarakhand’s minister for energy and renewable energy’s announcement to provide 100 units of electricity free and the next hundred at 50% discount had no value in the face of a denial by the chief minister. “Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the state has no such proposal, which made it clear that they will not provide free electricity,” he said.
Kejriwal also alleged that the Congress and the BJP had some “arrangement” between them. “Since 2000, first one [party] comes to power and then the other. BJP is busy changing CMs, [it is] something that has happened for the first time in 70 years that the party is itself saying that this or that CM is not good and needs to be changed. ...Congress can’t make up its mind about who will lead the state, who will be the leader of Opposition. Both the parties have destroyed Uttarakhand,” he claimed
Talking about replicating AAP’s Delhi model of governance in Uttarakhand, he said if the party comes to power it will transform the schools and health infrastructure. “Our leaders here are talking to youth, and within a month or so, we will make a big announcement about employment for the state’s youth”, he said.
“I also want to appeal to all those who love this nation, who are honest and feel stifled in their parties, to leave their parties and join AAP”, he said
Kejriwal said he will soon return to the state to announce AAP’s CM candidate.
With less than a year left for the next state assembly elections, AAP is increasingly becoming aggressive. Over the last eight months or so, it has attacked the ruling BJP on various issues including corruption, unemployment and health through various political events and on social media.
In the Himalayan state, Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL), a government of Uttarakhand undertaking, is the sole distributor of electricity to over 2.5 million consumers across the state with a peak demand of 2233 MW.
Devendra Bhasin, state BJP spokesperson said AAP was trying to mislead the people of Uttarakhand. “They are just trying to mislead people of the state with such promises. Everyone knows the condition of Mohalla clinics in Delhi and the overall Delhi model. Here they don’t have much cadre or a face. They can’t even win the local civic elections [in Uttarakhand] if they try”.
Bhasin refuted Kejriwal’s claim that the BJP government had no intention to provide free power and said that the CM hadn’t rejected the proposal but he only meant to say that it hadn’t been brought before the cabinet yet. “He just spoke about the technicality that it hasn’t yet been brought before the state cabinet,” Bhasin said.
Pritam Singh, state president of the Congress said AAP doesn’t have any roots in the state and it was a B-team of the BJP. “They know very well that they can’t win here. They have no base here and people of the state will themselves give them a befitting reply”. He added that so far the party didn’t have any plans to provide free electricity if elected to power.