Tariff hike electrifies political scene
The power tariff hike has sparked a flurry of angry protests by political parties of all hues. Fasts, dharnas and rasta rokos have become order of the ...
The power tariff hike has sparked a flurry of angry protests by political parties of all hues. Fasts, dharnas and rasta rokos have become order of the day. In the show of one-upmanship, every political party worth its name is exhibiting its ingenuity by taking up novel protests across the State. In fact, the power tariff hike has electrified the whole political atmosphere, spurring the friends and foes alike to work in tandem and launch a stinging attack against the Kiran Kumar Reddy government. CM, Congress come under Left parties' fire Congress, TDP are indulging in blame-game:Narayana Raghavulu challenged the APCC president's contention that the party did not promise to not raise the power tariff in its election manifesto Hyderabad: As a part of the State-wide protest against power tariff hike, ten Left parties staged a massive agitation, including a day's hunger strike in front of the Hyderabad district collectorate on Monday. Flaying the Congress government, CPI State secretary K Narayana said that it was wrong on Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy's part to blame TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu for the power crisis. "Instead of blaming Babu, Kiran Kumar Reddy should take action to resolve the power crisis," Narayana said adding, "It is unfair to blame others." Attacking the government, he said that as the Congress was ruling both in the State and at the Centre, they could easily control the power prices. "By indulging in the blame-game, both parties are deceiving the people. The government has no right to put burden the people," he asserted. Lashing out at PCC chief Botch Satyanarayana's remarks on the intensified power agitations, CPI-M State secretary B V Raghavulu charged the Congress leaders with 'fooling' the people by pretending as if they were under pressure because of the hiked power charges. "Airing of differences on the issue among the Congress leaders is only for public consumption," he claimed. The CPI-M leader challenged the APCC president's contention that the party did not promise to not raise the power tariff in its election manifesto. He said that the party had proof, like an advertisement, which was released in 2009 by the Congress saying that it won't increase power charges. "You cannot fool the people for long. They will shortly teach the Congressmen a lesson," Raghavulu said. He alleged that the government had hiked the power tariff by making the ERC to succumb to pressure. BJP MLAs' Deeksha enters third day Politicos call on fasting leaders and express solidarity with them Hyderabad: The 'Poru Deeksha' launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party against the power crisis in the State is getting a tremendous response with people from different sections flocking Old MLA Quarters on Monday. The list includes Dr Jayaprakash Narayan (Lok Satta), MLAs Nagam Janardhan Reddy, K Harishwar Reddy, educationist Chukka Ramaiah, R Krishnaiah (BC leader), Mallepalli Lakshmaiah, C Vittal, V Srinivas Goud (TJAC), poet Juluri Gourishankar, senior journalist Telkapalli Ravi and many other eminent personalities. Expressing ire against the government, the speakers demanded an immediate roll back of the power charges. Despite the growing disenchantment, the Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress government did not bother to heed to the pleas of the public of the State, they lamented. MLAs very weak Meanwhile legislators G Kishan Reddy, Endala Lakshminarayana and Yennam Srinivas Reddy have become very weak because of the indefinite fast that entered the third day on Monday. Doctors who conducted tests on them pointed out that the sugar levels of the MLAs dropped considerably. TDP seeks Guv's help to roll back hike Hyderabad: The TDP on Monday demanded Governor ESL Narasimhan to direct the State government to roll back the increase in the power tariff approved by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC). A 20-member party delegation led by TDLP Deputy leader M Narasimhulu met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum urging him to protect people from the tariff burden. Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the TDP leader alleged that Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's government was harassing the common man by increasing tariffs abnormally and also by imposing FSA on them. In the last three years, an amount of Rs 21,141 crore has been levied towards electricity charges and FSA. "This is an unprecedented draconian enhancement in the history of State and poorer sections have been subjected to extraordinary financial burden," they said. Telugu Desam Parliamentary party leaders Nama Nageswar Rao, Sujana Chowdhury and Rajya Sabha members CM Ramesh and Boojala Gopalakrishna Reddy were a part of the delegation. Telugu Mahila on warpath Extending solidarity to the party President N Chandrababu Naidu's one day deeksha on power tariff hike in Kakinada, Telugu Mahila ( TDP's Women Wing) conducted day-long hunger strike at party head office � NTR Trust Bhavan here on Monday. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's inefficiency in handling the power crisis had forced people to bear the burden of exorbitant tariff hike, the party's Women wing President Shobha Hymavathi said while participating in the dharna. Miffed MIM demands double power subsidy Hyderabad: Strongly opposing the fresh hike in power tariff, AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi on Monday demanded the State government to immediately withdraw the tariff hike and double the subsidy for power sector. In a statement here, he alleged that the government burdened the people with frequent hikes in Value-Added Tax (VAT), Motor Vehicle (MV) tax, market value of lands and properties, bus fares and power charges. Besides, the Union government also resorted to a hike in railway fares, petrol, diesel and LPG prices which has adversely affected the poor and the middle classes, he stated. In view of the increased burden on the common man, the MIM leader demanded the government to raise the quantum of subsidy on power sector in proportion to the size of the State budget. New power tariff orderA comes into effect The new power tariff order�2013-14, which has been approved by the AP Electricity Regulation Commission, came into effect from Monday. The Commission issued the orders after considering the Discoms' proposals on March 30. The retail supply tariff rates will be applicable till March 31, 2014, in respect of the four distribution licensees and four rural electricity cooperatives in the State. HC to take up PIL on power tariff hike today Hyderabad: The PIL bench of the State High Court comprising acting Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Vilas Afzalpurkar are to take up on Tuesday a public interest writ petition challenging the increased retail tariff rate for electricity consumption in the state. Senior counsel S Ramachandra Rao on Monday pleaded that the matter be taken up urgently on Monday but the bench said it was hard pressed for time and would take up the matter on Tuesday. Biksham, a resident of Bagh Amberpet, moved the petition contending inter alia that the citizens are least responsible for the impugned escalations in tariff and costs of power. In fact the present pathetic power situation in Andhra Pradesh is attributable to the mismanagement and misapplication of resources and funds by the respondents both at the points of production and at the points of distribution and this misery is caused only by the negligent, inefficient and callous manner adopted by the power producing and power distributing companies, which are under the control of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the petitioner contended. Training his guns on the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Authority the petitioner said the regulatory authority which is expected to be an independent and autonomous body as a quasi judicial in nature, is supposed to take care of not only the power industry but the large mass of power consumers too. It has miserably failed to do so and it has become a mere rubber stamping authority for all the requests and enhancements proposed by the DISCOMs and generating companies under the control of government. The petitioner said that it (APERC) had become virtually an apparatus for laying its irrational seal of approval for all the exorbitant demands for power tariff enhancement. This resulted in a situation where the consumers of power whether small or big, either domestic, industrial or agricultural, have become victims of irrational extortion.
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