Staff Reporter

KANNUR: Kerala Congress (B) leader and former Minister R. Balakrishna Pillai has said that the hike in electricity tariff is unwarranted and will affect the people who are already bearing the brunt of rising prices of essential commodities.

Mr. Balakrishna Pillai, who had served as Electricity Minister of the State, said at a press conference here on Tuesday that the tariff hike was a setback to the people struggling to shoulder the price rise, which went up to 40 per cent for some commodities.

The hike was not necessary now as the State had got good rainfall this year and the reservoirs had sufficient waters. The tariff hike would also hamper industrial development as cheaper electricity charge in the State was a major attraction for industrial investors.

He alleged that Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers were encouraging attacks on Adivasis.

The incident at Chinnakkanal where CPI(M) workers attacked Adivasis in the presence of the police and similar incidents in the Aralam farm here and the Kumbazhanga estate showed the CPI(M)’s political intervention to assault the Adivasis, he said adding the officials concerned in assigning land to the Adivasis should be allowed to do their work fairly. To a question, Mr. Balakrishna Pillai said the merger of Kerala Congres groups was not on the agenda right now.