The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national general secretary Nara Lokesh held a lantern demonstration on Thursday to highlight the plight of poor people in the State following the hike in the electricity charges. Power charges have been hiked seven times in the past three years of the YSRCP regime, he said.
He arrived at the party office holding a lantern and was accompanied by party leaders and cadres. They raised slogans against the YSRCP government for its “ulterior policies to make the poor poorer”.
Mr. Lokesh slammed Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for putting an undue burden on the poor consumers by hiking ₹1.40 per unit in the 76 to 125 units category. Also, the middle classes were punished by increasing ₹1.57 per unit in the 126 to 220 units slab. “The poor and middle-income households are scared to switch on lights and fans this summer,” he said.
Mr. Lokesh said there would have been no need to hike power charges had Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy honoured the MoUs signed by former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu with power companies. If solar and wind power companies were encouraged like in the TDP regime, it would have given positive results reducing power tariff by ₹1 per unit by now.
The TDP MLC blamed the government for throwing the power sector into a serious crisis by purchasing in the open market at ₹9 to ₹10 per unit.
In his swearing-in rhetoric, the Chief Minister vowed not to hike electricity charges and even talked of reducing the rates. “But in just three years, he hiked charges over 7 times and imposed a burden of ₹12,000 crore in the name of true-up charges, dues and so on,” he charged.