Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday wrote to his counterparts in BJP and NDA-ruled states, asking them to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprise him about the “dangers” the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, which could make power unaffordable for people.
According to an official statement, the letter has been written to the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Bihar, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
“I know you belong to the BJP/alliance and it won’t be easy for you to speak against this amendment. But I request you to kindly meet the PM personally and apprise him of the dangers of this amendment,” Mr Kejriwal wrote in the letter.
The Delhi chief minister had on Saturday said that he has written to his counterparts of different states seeking support to stall the proposed amendments.
Addressing a rally in northwest Delhi’s Rohini, Mr Kejriwal had said that he will travel to different states from next week to meet the chief ministers and convince them to stand together to stall the bill.
He had said that he would meet several chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala) and HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka), to build consensus against the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act.
The AAP national convener’s move comes at a time when the Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to be held next year. It is also seen as an attempt to unite opposition parties against the BJP.
Mr Kejriwal claimed that the Narendra Modi government is going to introduce the amendment during the Winter Session of Parliament, which will “break” the back of the common man as the power tariffs would be “unaffordable” after it gets passed.
According to the Delhi chief minister, the proposed amendment aims at phasing out cross subsidy, which will mean that power tariffs for the common man will be the same as that for commercial and industrial units.
He said in Delhi for power consumption up to 200 units one is currently charged Rs. 1 per unit, while those using up to 400 units are charged Rs. 2.50 per unit.
Mr Kejriwal claimed that once the proposed amendment is passed, both the categories will have to pay Rs. 7.50 per unit, adding that this would hit hard around 90 per cent of all consumers in Delhi.