MLA Mungamuri Sridharkrishna Reddy defended the State government over the hike in power tariff and said the increased charges will not affect the poor and middle-class people.

In an informal chat with media persons, the Nellore Town MLA, who visited the Press Club to attend a private programme here on Saturday, said the government has not increased the power charges in the last seven years and there is nothing wrong in increasing the tariff now.

“The increased tariff will show impact only on the higher classes as the government hiked the charges to 300 units and above and spared the poor,” the MLA said.

Meanwhile, protesting the hike in power charges, activists of CPI (M) staged a dharna in front of the electricity office here on Saturday. They raised slogans demanding that the government withdraw the increased charges, which will be a burden to the poor and farmers. In a separate protest, the Telugu Desam Party activists staged a dharna before the Collectorate demanding rollback in the increased power tariff.