JALANDHAR: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would launch a massive agitation from April 7 against the rising power prices in Punjab to force Captain Amarinder Singh government to provide free power to the people of Punjab on the lines of Delhi.
The announcement was made by AAP state president and Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Mann, Punjab affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh, co-in-charge Raghav Chadha and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema at a press conference convened in Jalandhar on Wednesday. MLAs Aman Arora, Baljinder Kaur, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and several state leaders were also present on the occasion. Addressing the media, Bhagwant Mann said that in today’s era of inflation, due to the policies of the Captain government, the rising power prices had made the life of the people even more miserable.
He said that the Captain government was increasing power prices day by day instead of reducing them. Mann said that the Aam Aadmi Party would launch a mass agitation across Punjab over power bills which would force the Captain Amarinder Singh government of Punjab to reduce power tariffs. “The mass movement will be launched next week. This movement will reach every street, every village, town and city,” he added.
Mann further said that the party volunteers and workers will go door to door to get information about the electricity bills. He said that under the agitation, the electricity bills would be burnt. Mann said that earlier the Akali Dal government and now the Congress had entered into costly agreements with private companies keeping in view their personal interests. Jarnail Singh said that even if the Punjab government would not buy power from the three private thermals of the state, the government would have to pay crores of rupees to those thermals. He said that power was being generated in Punjab but still expensive power was being provided whereas there was no thermal power in Delhi but even after purchasing power from outside the Arvind Kejriwal government of Delhi was providing free power to the people. He said that the agitation would be started in Punjab demanding free power like the Arvind Kejriwal model of Delhi.
Showing the power bills of the people of Delhi and Punjab, Raghav Chadha showed how the Punjab government was looting the people and the state exchequer. He challenged the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to reduce the electricity bill like in Delhi. Chadha said that the Aam Aadmi Party would burn bills in every district, every village, every block, every city and every street from April 7 across Punjab and would convey the message to Captain that as Arvind Kejriwal was providing free electricity in Delhi, people should also get free electricity in Punjab on the same lines. Taking a dig at Captain Amarinder Singh, Chadha said, “We expect that all the people to whom you have sent wrong, fake and false bills will be waived off. We are clearly challenging the Captain government to waive electricity bills like in Delhi,” he added.
Chadha showed the bills of the people of Delhi and the electricity bills of Punjab and showed the difference of the condition of electricity in Punjab. He showed the power bills of Delhi residents where for electricity consumption of 174 units, the bill was of zero rupee. Similarly in the second bill where the consumption was 220 units, the bill was almost zero. Also in another bill, he said that the consumption was 236 units and the bill was only zero. Chadha showed another bill of 200 units consumption whose bill was zero, stating that it is Arvind Kejriwal’s model of development. Chadha further pointed out the bills sent by the Captain government of Punjab to the people and said that for 480 units consumption, the bill was of Rs 3,570. He said that on one side there was Kejriwal’s bill which was zero and on the other side there was Captain’s electricity bill which was more than 3,500. Chadha showed another electricity bill of Punjab in which for 1156 units consumption, the bill was of Rs 9,570. In another bill of 380 units consumption, the bill was of Rs 3,690. Similarly for unit consumption of 217, the bill was of Rs 2,190.
Meanwhile showing another bill, Chadha expressed astonishment that for a electricity bill of zero units consumption, the bill was of Rs 1,040. He said that the AAP had brought hundreds of such bills to expose the Captain government. Showing another bill, he said that the bill for consumption of 256 units was 21,240 which was shocking. “This is the model of development of Captain Sahib. On one hand, Arvind Kejriwal is providing free electricity and on the other hand, Captain Amarinder is sending bills of thousands and lakhs of rupees to the people,” he added. Chadha said that it was not only the domestic consumption but also the traders and businessmen of Punjab were facing difficulties with the electricity bills. He said that as looting was rampant everywhere in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is going to launch a massive agitation all over the state and Captain Amarinder will bow down unless they provide free electricity, as Arvind Kejriwal has done in Delhi. Chadha said that with the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab, the Arvind Kejriwal model of development would be implemented in Punjab. He said that many households in Punjab were being sent excessive bills as compared to the consumption units which the Captain government should immediately withdraw and waive the bills of those people. On occasion, the copies of high electricity bills were also burnt by the AAP.
LoP Harpal Singh Cheema said that the Aam Aadmi Party had been raising the issue of power and other issues in the assembly. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party would now launch mass agitation to resolve the issues of the people. MLA Aman Arora said that the people of Punjab were being burdened by the agreements made by the government with the private companies in Punjab. He said that due to the policies of the government thousands of crores of rupees had to be paid to the private companies of Punjab because the same commission which used to go to the Akalis now goes to the ruling Congress party. He said that Punjab was one of the states where the highest unit tax was levied which was 9 paise in Chandigarh, 5 paise in UP and 1 rupee 33 paise in Punjab. He said that it was due to the policies of the Punjab government that the people were getting expensive electricity. “Had it not been the policies of the Congress and the Akalis to fill their pockets, the people of Punjab today would have got free electricity like the people of Delhi,” said Arora. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party would launch a mass agitation to reduce the price of electricity in future which would be continued till the people started getting free electricity.