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AAP govt will extend power subsidy to tenants: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement, made with an eye on civic polls, will benefit the lower middle class, the party’s support base.

delhi Updated: Apr 04, 2017 16:57 IST
Vishal Kant
Vishal Kant
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi civic elections,Power subsidy
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing an election rally at Gonda in northeast Delhi on Saturday. (Raj K Raj / HT photo)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday his government would extend the power subsidy scheme to tenants as well, a move aimed at the lower middle class, the party’s support base, ahead of the civic elections.

This is the second largesse promised by the city’s ruling party looking to snatch control of the three civic bodies --- south, north and east municipal corporations -- from the BJP. It has already announced to do away with the house tax for all residential properties.

“Tenants in Delhi are not getting benefits of power subsidy. Will make sure they are benefitted after the MCD elections,” Kejriwal tweeted Sunday morning.

The move would benefit those who live in rented flats but were denied subsidy benefit by the owners who charged them at an “average rate”, party sources said.

The number of such tenants was in the thousands, an AAP leader said.

Soon after coming to power in Delhi in 2015, the Kejriwal government provided 50% subsidy to households consuming up to 400 units per month.

They were getting complaints that tenants in unauthorised colonies and villages were not getting the benefit, an AAP leader said.

“Instead of a separate meter for every flat, the property owners have got sub-meters installed. They charge the tenants on an average basis, which in many cases is arbitrary,” the leader said.

The voting for the 272 municipal wards will be held on April 23.

The AAP, which suffered a blow in the recent state elections when it finished second in Punjab where it was fancying its chances, is keen to put the defeat behind.

The BJP wants to retain control of the civic bodies in the city, which bucked the so-called Modi wave in 2015 to give a record win to AAP.

The Congress is desperate to make a comeback in Delhi, which it ruled for 15 straight years before being dislodged by AAP.

The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, the Swaraj Abhiyan, a grouping of leaders expelled from the AAP, and the Janata Dal (United) are the other parties in contention.

First Published: Apr 02, 2017 13:13 IST