The BJP has scaled up its protests in Hazaribaug and surrounding areas in Jharkhand to press for an improvement in power supply in the region, two days after a local court sent senior party leader and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha to jail for a fortnight.
Mr. Sinha, whose son Jayant has been elected as an MP from Hazaribaug, was accused of encouraging his supporters to assault a senior officer of the state electricity board on Monday for his failure to take steps to improve the situation in the district, which, he alleged, was reeling under prolonged spells of power-cuts.
The former Union minister was arrested and produced before a local court the next day. He refused to take bail in the case.
His arrest has stoked the anger of BJP workers. On Wednesday, they blocked the Grand Trunk Road, the region’s lifeline, at Barhi town, located some 40 kms from Hazaribaug, resulting in a four-hour-long traffic jam.
Protests and dharnas were organised in other parts of the district too, with the BJP leaders saying they would persist with their agitation till the power situation improved.
Senior party leader and former Jharkhand speaker CP Singh travelled from Ranchi to take part in the protests. “You know its the same situation in Ranchi. Everywhere. My local people ask everyday what I am doing about it. I have no answer,” he said.
The Jharkhand State Electricity Board, however, counters the charge. They cite statistics to drive home their point. The daily power demand in Hazaribaug is 100 MW, but the total supply is just 60-65 MW, sourced from the Damodar Valley Corporation. It means five-hour power cuts in towns, and 10-12 hours in the villages, everyday.