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Erode (East) bypoll | Minister Senthilbalaji challenges ex-Minister Thangamani to a debate

After AIADMK came to power in 2011, electricity charges were hiked by 180%, says Senthilbalalji

February 08, 2023 08:16 pm | Updated February 09, 2023 04:39 pm IST - ERODE

V. Senthilbalaji

V. Senthilbalaji

Electricity Minister V. Senthilbalaji charged that many mistakes had occurred in the department during the AIADMK rule, and challenged former Minister P. Thangamani to take part in a debate with him over the issue.

Speaking at an election campaign meeting at Veerappanchatiram in Erode (East) Assembly constituency on Wednesday, the Minister said after the AIADMK came to power in 2011, electricity charges were hiked by 180% whereas, the hike by the DMK government was only 30%. Since apartments in Chennai had swimming pools and theatres, a separate commercial power tariff was fixed, he said.

The Minister said that during the AIADMK rule, the Electricity Board’s debt stood at ₹1.5 lakh crore and to reduce it, power tariffs were hiked. “The AIADMK government claimed that the State was power surplus. But not even a single megawatt was generated,” he said. Only during the rule of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in 2006-2011, North Chennai Thermal Power Station was established.

Mr. Senthilbalaji said the AIADMK government purchased power from private companies at a higher price. “Why did they not provide free power connection to farmers, if the State was power-surplus?” he asked. Coal worth many crores of rupees went missing from power plants in the State during the AIADMK rule and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption would soon come out with their findings, he added.

“I am ready for a public debate with Mr. Thangamani about the mistakes made during the AIADMK regime. Is he ready?” Mr. Senthilbalaji asked.

Aadhar linking

The Minister said February 15 would be the last date for linking Aadhaar number with electricity consumer number and added that further extension would not be given.

He said that permission was sought from the Election Commission of India to issue Government Orders for increasing free electricity for power looms from 750 units to 1,000 units and reducing power tariff from ₹1.40 per unit to 70 paise per unit.

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