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Political parties protest power cuts, tariff hike

Staff Reporter
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TDP cadres release a ‘black-paper’ on the pathetic state of affairs in the power sector

TDP leaders resort to mock begging at a prominent circle in Tirupati on Monday, indicating that the exorbitant hike in power tariff would turn the common man into a beggar.- Photo: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR
TDP leaders resort to mock begging at a prominent circle in Tirupati on Monday, indicating that the exorbitant hike in power tariff would turn the common man into a beggar.- Photo: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

The all-party agitation against the twin-issues of acute power cuts and unprecedented power tariff hikes intensified further in the tail-end Chittoor district on Monday with leaders of the parties along with their cadres hitting the roads in all major towns of the district and holding vociferous demonstrations denouncing the ‘reckless and indifferent’ attitude of the Kiran Kumar Reddy government towards the plight of the poor and the peasant communities.

At Tirupati all the opposition parties—TDP, YSRC, CPI(M) and the CPI - cadres led by their district and city unit leaders were seen on different modes of protest, going hammer and tongs at the State government for not only turning the once power-surplus Andhra Pradesh into power-starved State, but triggering in its wake an exodus of industries out of the State to safer destinations.

‘Black paper’ released

The TDP cadres going a step further released on the occasion a ‘black paper’ on the pathetic state of affairs in the power sector, wherein it presented facts and figures to compare as to how the sector flourished during the Chandrababu Naidu regime with his ‘foresight and rational approach’ was now in total disarray – thanks to the successive ‘corrupt and inept’ Chief Ministers.

While Rajasekhar Reddy ‘corrupted’ the sector for the sake of his own kith and kin, Kiran Kumar Reddy with his alleged inefficient and arrogant governance, plunged the power sector as a whole into abysmal depths, the brochure released by the TDP charged.

It also demanded that the private sector power companies which received ‘out of the way’ benefits from the YSR government must be made to supply power at cheaper rates to government. Its other demands are substantially increased budget allocation to power sector as was done during the TDP regime, checking corruption and ‘scams’ in purchase of coal and power which in turn would prevent power tariff escalation, exerting pressure on the centre for maximum gas allocation to state to resuscitate its power sector back to life.

Reports of similar angry demonstrations by the opposition party leaders have come in from Chittoor, Madanapalle, Srikalahasti, Nagari and other places as well reflecting the growing resentment among the public and political parties over the ‘insensitive’ state government.

RDO office under siege

Staff Reporter writes from Anantapur: The Revenue Divisional Office (RDO) in Anantapur was under a virtual siege on Monday with almost all Opposition parties staging protests in the form of dharnas, sit-in fasts and blockades at the office.

While the Left parties – CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and the SUCI – held sit-in protests, the Telugu Desam leaders staged a protest with lanterns symbolic of the power cuts in the State.

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders sat on a two-day fast against the tariff hike.

Speaking at the venue, former Anantapur MP and TDP polit buro member Kalava Srinivasulu opined that the government had effectively lost the support of the people at large and hence lacked the right to continue.

“They have gone on a spree of tariff hikes in the last few months, burdening the people of the State like never before. And none of these hikes has meant lesser power cuts, let alone uninterrupted power supply”, said Mr. Srinivasulu even as he argued that there was not one segment – agriculture, industry or homes – left unaffected by the power cuts.

On the other hand, CPI district secretary Jagadish alleged that the farmers were already worried losing their crops, while the people are bothered about the zero reduction in terms of their electricity bill in spite of huge power cuts due to the steep hike in the power tariff in the last few months.


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