Friday, February 1, 2013

Kejriwal to expose 'connivance' between Dikshit, power companies today

Aam Aadmi Party has Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit in its crosshairs again, promising to expose on Friday how the Delhi government consistently "favoured" private power distribution companies at the expense of the public. Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan announced on Thursday that they would expose "connivance" between Dikshit and the electricity companies. The offensive against Delhi government is not new and, in fact, marks the end of a two-month hiatus even as the political group prepares for its electoral debut in the 2014 assembly elections. In October last year, AAP had led a series of protests including mass burning of power bills and urging consumers not to pay their dues. Kejriwal had alleged that Delhi government had deliberately stopped power regulator DERC's draft tariff order in April-May 2010. The controversial order had recommended 20% reduction in domestic tariff because Delhi's power distribution companies had made a profit of Rs 3,000 crore. Instead, the tariff was hiked to allegedly benefit the discoms. The Delhi protests also marked the only tangible success AAP has had so far. DERC was forced to roll back tariff in November for low-end consumers by around 15%. Kejriwal and Bhushan will be hoping to build on this success and prove that the Dikshit government has been acting against public interest in a series of decisions whether related to tariff or other financial matters. The group has spent the last few months in building district teams and the coming days could see street protests to press home their advantage.

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