Congress accuses HDK of stealing power for Diwali decorations
An FIR has been registered against him by the vigilance wing of the Bescom, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company.
A case has been registered against former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy after the Congress in Karnataka accused him of drawing power illegally to illuminate his JP Nagar residence here for Diwali, officials aware of the matter said on Tuesday.
The first information report (FIR) was registered by the vigilance wing of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) at its Vigilance Police Station on charges of electricity theft under section 135 of the Indian Electricity Act, the officials said.
“The offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years or with a fine or both,” an official of the police station said, refusing to be named .
Earlier, the ruling Congress alleged that Janata Dal (Secular) leader Kumaraswamy had resorted to power theft to illuminate his Bengaluru residence for Diwali. The ruling party shared a video on social media platform X, accompanied by a statement, condemning Kumaraswamy for stealing electricity.
In his response, Kumaraswamy said it was not his fault but of a private decorator who gave the connection directly from a nearby electricity pole. When he got to know, he immediately got it removed and took the electricity connection from the meter board of the house, he said.
The Congress questioned the former CM’s credibility, noting the irony of his earlier statements about Karnataka being in the dark while he allegedly engaged in power theft. The party expressed disappointment that a former chief minister would resort to such actions.
“You held a press meet and blabbered that Karnataka was in the dark. Now, you are using stolen power to illuminate your home. When your house is shining so brightly, how can you claim that Karnataka is under darkness?” the Congress asked. It was tragic that a former chief minister had resorted to power theft, the party further said.
“The lone honest person in the world H D Kumaraswamy’s JP Nagar residence was illumined with decorative lights with illegal power connection directly from the electric pole. It is a tragedy that such poverty has struck a former CM to steal electricity!” the Congress said, taking a dig at him.
The Congress said that if Kumaraswamy was under such financial stress, he could have availed of 200 units of free power under the Gruha Jyothi Scheme launched by the Congress-ruled government in the state.
“In spite of the lack of power in the state, even though they have taken measures to provide 7 hours of electricity to the farmers, are they facing such a “drought” that they resort to such cheap theft?... Do you need to light up your home when the state is facing drought? Do you want to have fun stealing electricity from the farmers?” it added.
Addressing the charges, Kumaraswamy admitted to using the services of a private decorator who had tested the lighting by drawing power directly from a nearby electricity pole. “I realised this when I returned home and immediately removed it and ensured that power was drawn from the house connection,” Kumaraswamy said on X.
“This matter came to my attention when I came back home last night. I immediately removed it and connected the electricity from the meter board of the house. This is the reality. There is nothing hidden in this…I am sorry for this indiscretion. Let the BESCOM officials come and inspect and issue a notice,” Kumaraswamy said.
Deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar said Bescom will take action.
Kumaraswamy has been attacking the government over the shortage of power in the state due to the deficient rainfall. In October he said that he had previously alerted the state government about the impending electricity shortage in the state, but he was not allowed to address the issue in the legislature. “Electricity woes in the state are getting worse, but the state government is keeping itself busy talking about the guarantee schemes without bothering about the real problems people are facing,” he had said.