Arvind Kejriwal On Shiela Dikchit AND BJP on Shinde
Arvind Kejriwal targets Delhi CM on power discoms
2 FEB, 2013, 01.27AM IST, ET BUREAU FROM ECONPOMIC TI
NEW DELHI: Ahead of Delhi assembly elections in November, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal has trained his guns on chief minister Sheila Dikshit, accusing the Delhi government of conniving with private power distribution companies to increase power tariffs in the Capital by showing "false" figures on losses.
After several exposes on political leaders and corporate big-wigs, Kejriwal accused the Delhi government and the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission of playing into the hands of the private power companies, owned by Anil Ambani and the Tata group. Kejriwal said while privatising power distribution in Delhi in 2002, the government had promised tariffs would come down as distribution losses would be reduced. He said 11 years after privatisation though distribution losses have come down from 55% to 15%, electricity bills have gone up for Delhiites. Kejriwal alleged private power companies were "hiding" their revenues and should therefore be audited by CAG.
Addressing a press conference on a day when a3% increase in power tariff became applicable, Kejriwal accused Dikshit of stalling a 2010 order of DERC, in which former chairperson Brijender Singh had observed that private distribution companies were making huge profits and, as a consequence, power tariffs should be reduced by 23%.
Kejriwal said since 2010 the chairperson has changed and the power tariffs have gone up, first by 22% in August 2011 and then by 32% in June 2012. "We have calculated that for a household that consumes 200 units in 2 months, when the power bill should have been Rs 503, the household pays Rs 1,505 and has paid Rs 7,910 extra in the last three years to the private companies. Similarly, for a household that consumes 400 units in two months, the bill should be Rs 2,205, but it actually is Rs 4,400. This household has already paid Rs 19,443 extra in the last three years," Kejriwal said.
Reacting to the allegations levied by Kejriwal, Tata PowerBSE 1.43 % Delhi CEO Praveer Sinha said there was a need to look at the situation in proper perspective. "Our tariffs are lower than neighbouring states," he added. A BSES spokesperson said: "The allegations posed are completely baseless and wild to mislead the citizens of Delhi. Issues raised have no relation whatsoever with the ground realities and are meant for personal gains."
The Chief Minister's Office termed Kejriwal's accusations as a "bunch of lies". State power minister Haroon Yusuf said Kejriwal was trying to "sensationalise the issue as he did not say anything new". Kejriwal demanded that a case of fraud should be lodged against Anil Ambani as his company, BSES, had allegedly fudged accounts to show huge losses. Kejriwal accused the new DERC chairman PD Sudhakar of "working as an agent" of private distribution companies.
NEW DELHI: BJP has stepped up its offensive on home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for his Hindu terror remarks by deciding to boycott all meetings convened or presided over by him. The decision was taken at a meeting of the party's core group here, the first since Rajnath Singh took over as party chief. Party leaders said after the meeting that BJP will stay away from even meetings called by Shinde and not respond to any communication from him as leader of the House in the Lok Sabha. With the budget session of Parliament beginning on February 21, the boycott could pose hurdles for the government in seeking the principal opposition party's cooperation on crucial issues.
"The core group observed that Shinde's remarks have hurt Hindu sentiments... The party has decided that its members and workers will boycott all public programmes in which Shinde is taking part," BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar told reporters.