Free power to SC/STs: Opposition slams govt over withdrawal of circular

Siddaramaiah questions double-engine govts for allegedly betraying oppressed classes

Published: 06th September 2022 05:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2022 05:43 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government’s alleged U-turn over the provision of 75 units of free electricity a month to BPL families from the SC/ST communities, which he had announced as part of the 75th Independence Day celebrations, has been slammed by the Opposition.

Though the energy department clarified that the circular issued on August 24 has been withdrawn in order to simplify the guidelines to identify beneficiaries, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah alleged that the government has betrayed Dalits.

“The double-engine governments, which were in favour of privatising the power sector, have betrayed even the farmer community by reducing the supply of free electricity and fixing meter-readers to irrigation pump-sets,” he alleged.

He said that the free supply of power should continue for both BPL Dalit families, as well as for farmers. The former chief minister, who held the finance portfolio, also suggested the government to check for leakages in the power supply and take steps to tackle corruption, and also collect the massive dues from private companies for the energy department.

“Other than long speeches, the BJP government is not ready to do anything for the oppressed communities. Why did the BJP government withdraw the programme in just a week? Because of the Keshavakripa order? Or the command of Nagpur?” tweeted former minister Priyank Kharge, indirectly attacking the RSS. Reacting sharply, however, Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar clarified that the programme was not withdrawn per se, but the circular about the guidelines has been withdrawn.

“Dear@PriyankKharge, sorry for your ignorance and half-baked information collection. You are shouting as if the scheme itself will be cancelled.The old circular is withdrawn to simplify the criteria for selection of beneficiaries,” Sunil replied through a tweet.

It may be noted here that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during her recent visit to Bengaluru, had reportedly advised the government not to make announcements such as free electricity to farmers, unless there was an allocation in the Budget.

India Matters


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