The rise of AAP is giving sleepless nights to Congress party as it is keen to follow its footsteps for remaining in power. Close on the heels of 50 per cent tariff cut by AAP in Delhi AICC Secretary and Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam and MPCC president Manikrao Thackeray has demanded a tariff reduction of power consumption of less than 500 units per month in Mumbai. Nirupam has already sent a letter in this regard to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. The Congress which had received a severe jolt in the recently concluded assembly election wants to undo the damage by announcing people friendly policies. The party is closely watching the steps taken by AAP party in Delhi and trying to emulate it.
Talking to AV, Sanjay Nirupam said, “Middle class persons should be entitled to receive electricity at affordable price. I not bothered about the commercial class.
Nirupam said that an inquiry should be set up to investigate the pricing mechanism that is adopted by the companies which distribute power in the city.
Sanjay Nirupam threatened to agitate if the government fails to implement the welfare schemes. He said, “People residing in slums should receive some relief from the recurring electricity price hikes. If the government fails to implement this policy then we will protest.”
He pointed out that whenever the power was reduce in the past years, only the power companies benefited from the subsidy announced. Adding that benefit of the subsidy should only be passed on directly to the consumers.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said that it has already put forward this proposal before the cabinet. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “One and half month ago we had formed a committe under the leadership of Narayan Rane for overseeing the reduction in electricity tariffs. The Congress and AAP have only got into action now.”
Opposition parties are alleging that the Congress is blindly following AAP party and indulging in publicity stunt to woo voters. They also questioned why the Congress remained mum on this issue for so many years? Why the party didn’t demand for a reduction in electricity charges when they were in power?
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena spokesperson said, “Why is the Congress worried about these issues now and what were they doing for the past five years. Since the general election is just round the corner hence Congress is indulging in such acts to lure voters. The party is also worried that if they don’t improve governance then they might have to face defeat in the election.”
BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis said, “Why did the Congress overlook this issue earlier why are they worried about it now? It’s a cheap tactics of the party to seek publicity.”
Maharasthra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “We will look into the power tariff issue. The decision has nothing to do with AAP’s announcement to lower electricity charges in Delhi.”