Authorities, however, attribute the move to shortage in supply

For a few days before the Assembly elections, the public had the rare privilege of uninterrupted power supply. But reality struck them hard on Monday, a day after polling was held.

The sudden withdrawal of load-shedding and its reintroduction after the polling have prompted the public to suspect that the political party at the helm of affairs used the official machinery to “lure” people during the elections.

Power supply companies introduced load-shedding in both urban and rural areas in September 2012, citing reduction in power generation as the reason. People had repeatedly demanded the authorities not to resort to load-shedding in the evenings to help students preparing for exams. Farmers demanded three-phase power supply for six hours a day to run irrigation pump sets. However, the power supply companies went ahead with load-shedding — six hours in towns, four hours in the district headquarters, 15 hours in rural areas and 18 hours for irrigation pump set feeder lines.

H.J. Hamsaraj, president of the Hassan District Industrialists Association, said: “A couple of days ago, an employee in my industry said that there had been no load-shedding for the last few days. I told her that it will be re-introduced soon after the electronic voting machines are stored in strongrooms. My guess was true.”

Many say that load-shedding was withdrawn in the days before the elections only to “lure” voters. “When we wanted uninterrupted power supply for a few hours in the evening when students were preparing for exams, the authorities did not respond. But they supplied power without any disruptions only to fool people during the elections,” said Sudhamathi, a resident of Kuvempu Nagar in Hassan.

An officer of Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC), who did not wish not to be named, told The Hindu that power supply was dependant on the allotment made at the supply stations. “We only follow the directions of senior officers. As there was sufficient supply of power there was no load-shedding for five to six days before the elections. However, load-shedding was introduced from Monday due to a shortage in supply,” the officer said. Similar was the response of an officer of Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom).

He said what the public experienced in the days before the elections and after was a result of the decision taken at a higher level.

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