Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to cut in power tariff in Delhi has inspired Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam to threaten an agitation against the government of his own party in Maharashtra if a similar reduction is not effected in Mumbai.
Mr Nirupam, who is the Lok Sabha MP from North Mumbai, has written to Maharashtra chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan saying, ‘If this legitimate expectation of the entire middle class and slum population is not met in the immediate future we will be constrained to launch a massive agitation against our own Govt. to press for substantial reduction in power tariff.”
Mr Nirupam refers to Mr Kejriwal’s swift action in Delhi repeatedly. He has suggested an audit of power distribution companies similar to the one ordered by the Delhi Chief Minister yesterday.
“The possibility that some sort of cartelisation exists cannot be ruled out since both companies supplying power have been increasing the tariff from time to time under one pretext or the other. The situation in Mumbai is similar to that of Delhi where the very same power distribution companies supply power,” Mr Nirupam writes.
Mr Kejriwal’s AAP had in its recent election campaign in Delhi, promised to halve Delhi’s electricity bills if it was voted to power. It had also promised the audit, alleging that power distribution companies have colluded with officials in earlier governments to over-charge Delhi for electricity.
Four days after it was sworn in, Mr Kejriwal’s cabinet delivered on both promises.
Mr Nirupam, who was a Shiv Sena leader before joining the Congress in 2005, has observed that the 50 per cent cut for consumption of up to 400 units in Delhi “will directly benefit lakhs of middle class people and slum dwellers in a big way.”