Other States

CM reviews power situation as Sidhu yet to take charge

Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu have been at loggerheads since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu have been at loggerheads since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.  

Congress leader was allotted Power Ministry in June

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the State’s power situation in the prevailing peak power demand season.

State Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was allotted the Power and Non-renewable Energy Ministry after being divested of the Local Government portfolio on June 6, is yet to assume responsibility of his new charge amid a widening rift with Capt. Amarinder.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister ordered a crackdown on power theft, particularly in areas bordering Pakistan and Haryana, in a bid to check the huge losses suffered by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited.

Total power demand in Punjab rose by 17.8% in June, and had further increased by 33.3% as of date, compared with the corresponding periods of the previous year, on account of the prolonged dry spell, delayed monsoon and higher power consumption in the agriculture sector.

Opposition attack

While the Opposition parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party, have been targeting the Congress government over alleged power cuts during the ongoing kharif sowing season, Mr. Sidhu’s absence at his Ministry has given them added ammunition to target the ruling party.

Capt. Amarinder and Mr. Sidhu have been at loggerheads since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It started with Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Mr. Sidhu, accusing Capt. Amarinder of blocking her Lok Sabha ticket from Chandigarh. Later, the Chief Minister blamed Mr. Sidhu for not handling his department well, which he claimed had resulted in the Congress’s “poor performance” in urban areas in the general election.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 1:12:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cm-reviews-power-situation-as-sidhu-yet-to-take-charge/article28364213.ece

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