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Updated: September 23, 2012 23:07 IST

Don’t pay power bills: Kejriwal

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Social activist Arvind Kejriwal speaks during a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
The Hindu
Social activist Arvind Kejriwal speaks during a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Social activist leads protest against Delhi government

Social activist Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday led a protest against the Delhi government on power tariff hike and asked people not to pay electricity bills. The protest was the first after his split with Anna Hazare. Around 300-400 people gathered at Jantar Mantar where Mr. Kejriwal announced a new ‘Civil Disobedience Movement,’ asking people not to pay the bills if the Sheila Dikshit government did not order an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of private discoms (power distribution companies).

Mr. Kejriwal said Mr. Hazare lived in their hearts and expressed the hope that he “will come back to them in three-four months once he sees our honest and dedicated work.”

“None can take him [Mr. Hazare] away from us. It is just that while he believes that politics is a dirty thing, we are of the view that we have to enter politics to clean it,” he said.

Mr. Hazare and his supporters, including Kiran Bedi, parted ways with the Kejriwal-led group on September 19 over the anti-graft movement taking a plunge into politics.

The protest, which is seen as a prelude to the group’s formal entry into politics, demonstrated the keenness of Mr. Kejriwal to fight the Delhi Assembly elections slated next year as it targeted the Congress government in the capital.

The group, which has decided to form a party, has earlier indicated that it will not fight the Assembly elections in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh scheduled later this year, as it could not get its act together there.

Bills set ablaze

At the protest, people set afire electricity bills, alleging there was collusion between the city government and the discoms to increase power tariff and help private companies earn more.

Mr. Kejriwal accused the Prime Minister of lying on the issue of FDI and diesel price hike. “The Prime Minister terms capping supply of subsidised LPG cylinders and diesel hike reforms. This is not reform but deforming the country,” he said.

Mr. Kejriwal alleged that the Delhi government and private discoms were conniving together to “loot” people.

On forming a political party, he said, “They say I am doing politics. Yes, I am doing politics. We are doing politics for the people. They do politics to indulge in corruption.”

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan contested Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia’s remark that ‘loss is a matter of fact and profit and gain is a matter of opinion,’ saying such statements were “unfortunate.”

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The cause is bigger than the number of people who attend the protest. Anyway do you think a response of 400 self motivated people who attend the protest at their own cost is low? Get it right. even 10 motivated citizens are better than the lakhs of people who attend political rallies all paid up for transport with biryani, 100 rupee note and a bottle of country liquor

from:  sunil
Posted on: Sep 24, 2012 at 23:13 IST

We have never heard of this gentleman before.All on a sudden he lands and gets all publicity,thanks to Anna.He is now trying to form a political outfit and may become an MP also thanks to the media blitz.If his stars are favourable ,he will become a minister in a hotch-potch coalition,earn good will and a little(?)money also.He will become part of the system against which he fought-like the young turks of yester years.We have a perfect neta in the making!This is the irony of our democracy!!Hope the would be neta reads this.

from:  Raja
Posted on: Sep 24, 2012 at 22:05 IST

Mr.Kejriwal's call not pay to new robber barons may or may not get
adequate response.But their Companies cry hoarse of their losses,long
lasting CM has been with them through thin and thick and the
'Regulatory' body is entirely pliable and the result is huge rise in
electricity bill.We Delhiwalas have given term after term to Sheila
Dixit as CM .Let us pay the cost for our choice or kick her out.People
have their right to vote and can exercise the same to reject these high
functionaries who are hand in glove with these business houses.

from:  Kailash Singh
Posted on: Sep 24, 2012 at 15:48 IST

Both Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal are correct. Anna at this age cannot form and lead a political party while Arvind's team can form a new political outfit through which they can play the game of democracy and convince people for a change.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Sep 23, 2012 at 22:53 IST

Anna Hazare, Kejriwal and others in the group are not capable of
leading any national struggle against corruption. Prominent Citizens
of India including former judges, government officials, educationists,
doctors and others should form a national and regional groups and
provide a direction to the Union and State Governments on the reform
process that will ensure a transparent, corruption free
structure.These groups should create awareness through the media,
blogs and other internet tools. This will bring in positive results in
a short span of time. Fighting corruption in the streets will not
bring about any quick solution since it is deep rooted in every sphere
of activity.

from:  Kousalya Murali
Posted on: Sep 23, 2012 at 22:39 IST

thank god they separated right now. MR.kezriwal proved his intentions of
starting the political party. Ok let him start as Mr. Jayaprakash
started in Andhra Pradesh. But the problem is how many people would join
with him as our politics is based on cast and religion. But not on issue
based politics.

from:  govind
Posted on: Sep 23, 2012 at 20:55 IST

It was good move by Anna. If he had accepted Mr. Kejriwal's offer, media
could have portrayed it wrong way and people might have thought that
Krjriwal and Anna are growing farther apart.

from:  Nirmal P.
Posted on: Sep 23, 2012 at 20:24 IST

Unfortunate for an able young man who took the corruption fight to the doors of the power to have lost support from Anna,if this is the support young people get many will be de-motivated to join politics and clean it, whilst we may differ to some of the views of Arvind has we should support such people to raise to power to cleanse the system.

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Sep 23, 2012 at 19:54 IST
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