The ongoing protest by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against the ‘inflated’ power bills in Delhi reached its crescendo on Monday afternoon, with several hundred party workers proceeding to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s residence in autorickshaws.
However, the activists carrying some eight lakh letters from the local residents, who had vowed not to pay the ‘inflated’ power bills, were restrained by police near the Pragati maidan.
Led by Manish Siodia, the activists began their ‘long march’ from the city’s eastern suburb of Sunder Nagri and proceeded towards the Chief Minister’s bungalow on Motilal Nehru Marg.
But after being stopped by police midway, a round of discussions between the AAP leaders and the police ensued. According to Sisodia, the police assured them that they would be taken to the Chief Minister’s residence in buses provided by them. However, the authorities reneged on their promise and said they could take them only till Jantar Mantar.
Further, Sisodia said the AAP would continue its protest and would come in even greater numbers next time.
Over the past few months, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has been raising the issue of inflated electricity and water bills in the the national capital. And he has been sitting on an indefinite fast in Sunder Nagri for the past 10 days. He had alleged that the business-politico nexus was responsible for the ‘inflated’ power prices.
Sisodia also said he himself had restored the power supply to the residents whose power connection was cut due to non payment of bills. And Kejriwal had claimed that the people whose power connection was restored by the AAP had received ‘inflated’ bills.
Meanwhile, State Power Minister Haroon Yusuf said Delhi was the only state which had 24x7 power. He further stated that the power deficit here was just 0.1 per cent whereas in Madhya Pradesh it was 3.5, Karnataka 14.9, Bihar 21.0 and Jharkhand 6.8 per cent.
Prior to the privatisation of the power sector, the state had witnessed violent demonstrations over power cuts that lasted for several days.