Delhi BJP on Monday organised public meetings or “janpanchayats” at 15 different locations to demand a 20 per cent reduction in power tariffs. The unit president Vijender Gupta also denounced serving of a defamation notice on him by the Chief Minister on the issue of removal of hoardings on the power tariff issue from bus shelters and other locations saying it was only an attempt to browbeat the BJP and divert attention from the real issue.

Mr. Gupta, who addressed the “janpanchayats” organised by district party units along with the market associations at various places, went on the offensive on the issue of power tariff and claimed that the party would continue with its agitations. As for Ms. Dikshit's notice, he said, “This is a tactic and she is trying to dilute and divert the issue.”

Stating that the power distribution companies had as per the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission posted a profit of Rs.945 crore, Mr. Gupta said despite the cash surplus, the DERC was not being allowed to reduce power tariffs. “We are fighting for the public, she (Ms. Dikshit) is fighting for the companies,” he charged.

Mr. Gupta said rather than looking at the Opposition to apologise and bend before her, Ms. Dikshit should apologise to the people for the various wrongs done by her.

He said the Chief Minister should apologise to the people of Delhi for mis-governance, her defamation notice, for manoeuvring the case of reducing power tariffs, for supplying polluted water, for purchasing expensive low-floor buses, for price rise and increase in the number of crimes in Delhi. Moreover, he said, apologies were also due from Ms. Dikshit for sitting on the file related to the capital punishment of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.

At the public meetings, various BJP leaders also spoke about how the Delhi Government was behaving in an autocratic manner. “The Chief Minister has refreshed the memories of Emergency days by forcefully removing the authorised hoardings put up by the BJP for awareness about power tariffs,'' he said.

Mr. Gupta said in the second phase of public awareness, a high-level delegation of the BJP will meet Lieutenant-Governor Tejender Khanna on Tuesday and submit a “charge-sheet” against the Chief Minister in the power tariff case.

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