SRINAGAR: Over a dozen of politicians in Jammu and Kashmir, including former deputy chief minister, ex-ministers and ex-MLAs, who get an uninterrupted power supply, owe lakhs of rupees as electricity charges to State's Power Development Department (PDD).
The leaders ran up the power dues from the time they took office till November 30, 2018.
According to PDD, former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta owes Rs 14,25,821 in electricity dues to the PDD.
Gupta was deputy chief minister in the BJP-PDP coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti.
"Former BJP minister Sukhnandan Choudhary owes Rs 19,36,849 in unpaid power bills. Similarly senior PDP leader and former minister Aasiya Naqash also owes Rs 13,66,999 in power arrears," the official data reveals.
Influential Shia leader and ex-minister Imran Reza Ansari owes Rs 10,28,263 to PDD.
Senior PDP leader Sartaj Madni, who is also the maternal uncle of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, owes Rs 3,78,470 in unpaid power bills to the PDD.
Former Congress MLC Abdul Gani Vakil, who has floated his own party, has an outstanding of Rs 4,26,955.
The other politicians, who owe money to PDD, include Abdul Rashid Dar of Congress (Rs 2,94,097), Mohammad Shafi Niaz of Congress (Rs 1,32,062), Mohammad Shafi Bhat, ex-PDP leader (Rs 1,84,954); Ghulam Nabi Hanjoora, ex-PDP minister (Rs 1,21,829); Fayaz Ahmad Mir, PDP MP (Rs 1,16,707); Javed Dar of National Conference (Rs 1.52 lakh); Saifullah Mir of NC (Rs 91,720); Mohammad Akbar Lone of NC (Rs 79,367); Abdul Gani Kohli, ex-BJP minister (Rs 52,566) and Bali Bhagat, ex BJP minister (Rs 50,397)
Senior National Conference leader and Deputy Speaker J&K Assembly Nazir Ahmad Gurezi is also among the defaulters. He owes R50,620 in electricity arrears to the PDD.
Top business houses, both in Jammu and Kashmir, also figure in the list of defaulters and owe cores of the rupees to the PDD in unpaid electricity charges.
The PDD has published the list of defaulters in local newspapers and has also served notice on them. The defaulters have been asked to either clear the dues within two weeks or risk getting their power connections snapped without further notice.
"The electricity supply, if disconnected, will not be restored till the defaulter clears all pending electricity dues," reads the notice served on the leaders.