Power charges: It's 'Left and Right' for govt
Rajahmundry: The Left parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have started a hunger strike in protest...
Rajahmundry: The Left parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have started a hunger strike in protest against the increase in power tariff here. Leaders of the Left parties, holding lanterns, organised a one-day hunger strike at Kotipalli Bus Stand on Monday. Communist Party of India (CPI) district secretary Meesala Satyanarayana and CPM district secretariat member T Arun flayed the State government for frequently increasing the power tariff. They demanded the government to face elections if it failed to decrease the power tariff. They made it clear that the State government should bear the surcharge and demanded better power supply. They warned the government that it would face the ire of the people if it did not reduce the power tariff. They called for active participation in State-wide bandh on April 9. CPI leaders Ketha Appa Rao, Nalla Rama Rao and Muppana Veerabhadra Rao were present. Meanwhile, the BJP leaders launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the increase in electricity tariff at Gokavaram Bus Stand here on Monday. Rajahmundry BJP leaders Adabala Ramakrishna Rao and Mattadi Jayaparakash sat on an indefinite fast and party general secretary Somu Veerraju inaugurated the camp near Ambedkar statue. On this occasion, Mr Veerraju expressed anguish that the State was in darkness due to the 'misrule' of the Congress. There was surplus electricity in BJP-ruled States whereas power cuts have become common in Andhra Pradesh, he said. People of all sections were suffering due to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had 'no vision', he said and demanded immediate rollback of power tariff hike. BJP leaders Kshatreeya Bala Subrahmanyam Singh, Potluri Rammohan Rao, Gulipalli Venkata Raju and Pithani Subba Rao were present. CPI, TDP take out rallies Srikakulam: Leaders of CPI and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) took out processions and staged dharnas in several parts of the city on Monday protesting against the steep hike in power charges. The TDP leaders staged a dharna in front of the electricity office here demanding immediate withdrawal of hike in power charges. TDP leaders said that in support of party president Chandrababu's day long fast at Kakinada, relay fasts were taken up in the town. The government is trying to deprive the poor as well as the middle classes of electricity which has become an essential commodity, they charged. If the hike in power charges is not withdrawn the agitation would be intensified, said Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu, party in-charge of the parliamentary constituency. On the other hand, Left party leaders took up relay hunger strike at the Day and Night Junction here on Monday. They demonstrated with bulbs, candles and oil-wick lamps. On this occasion, CPM leader Sundar Lal said that the power charges should be brought down immediately or Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will face the consequences. The Kiran Kumar government has pushed the people of the State into darkness, he said. CPI leader Tejeshwar said that 11 Left parties were fighting against the hiked power charges all over the State. He urged the leaders to remember that the last government was forced to step down from power over the hike in power charges. As a few ministers have carried this information to the Chief Minister, he has agreed to look into the matter which is a good sign, he said. However, despite the presence of two union ministers and three ministers in the State cabinet it is bad luck that they have not spoken about the problems of the people, he said. At least now the government should respond and withdraw the hike or the agitation would be intensified, he said. TDP leaders, former minister Gunda Appala Suryanarayana, CPI leaders and others participated. 'Cong. will pay heavily' Vizianagaram: Activists of the Telugu Desam Party staged a dharna in front of the local Transco office on Monday, protesting against the steep hike in power charges. On this occasion, party politburo member Ashok Gajapati Raju said that the people have to pay the price for the unethical practices of the Congress party. While the TDP had handed over power with a surplus budget, the Congress has created a chaotic situation with haphazard decisions, he said. The main reason for the shortage of power in the State is the decisions taken by Rajasekhara Reddy government, he said. Reducing the power production through the merchant power policy, he had given a chance to his son to amass ill-gotten wealth, he said. With this there is shortage of power supply, he said. Even the charges owed by the government to the Electricity Department have been converted into debt. Now the mistakes are being corrected and the government has burdened the people, he said. On one hand, the power position from the past three years is such that nobody knows when the power supply will resume. On the other hand, in the name of surcharge, the power charges are hiked, he said. It is sad that surcharge is being collected from 2010. The government that is collecting the charges has not been supplying even minimum power, he pointed out. Finally, even industries are forced to declare power holiday, he said. With the closure of small-scale industries due to power cuts, some 1.30 lakh have been rendered unemployed, he said. The government that is unable to create new jobs for the existing unemployed is making even the employed lose their jobs due to its policies, he pointed out. A government that has denied hiking power charges during the Assembly session has now resorted to it, he observed. The ministers and PCC chief Botcha are misleading the people who are furious at power cuts and hike in charges, he said. The TDP will soon take up a signature campaign over the issue, he added. The party leaders Prasadula Ramakrishna, Prasadula Kanakamahalakshmi, IVP Raju, Dr VS Prasad, Sailad Trinath, Korrothu Narsimha Rao and others participated. Meanwhile, activists of CPI, CPM, CPI (ML), CPI (ML) New Democracry and MCPI resorted to hunger strike in front of the Collectorate, protesting against the hike in power charges. They shouted slogans against the government's policies. On this occasion CPI district secretary Kameshwar Rao said that the government has pushed the State into darkness. The new hike in power charges will increase the prices of all essential commodities, he said. The government is not at all bothered about the people, he said. It is sad the government has hiked Rs 650 cr surcharge in the first phase and another Rs 650 cr in the second phase, besides hiking the charges with 10 kinds of sub plan methods, he said. CPM district secretary M Krishna Murthy, ML leader Reddy Sankarrao, New Democracy leader Sanyasi Rao and others participated in the hunger strike camp.