AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday reiterated his call for a rollback of the electricity tariff hike.
Presiding over a demonstration in Chengalpattu as part of the party’s State-wide agitation, Mr. Palaniswami said the quantum of increase in the power tariff ranged from 12% to 50% for domestic consumers. He gave a comparative account of the power tariff prior to the revision, when the AIADMK was in power, and post revision.
Quoting from an advertisement purportedly given by Electricity Minister V. Senthilbalaji in a Tamil daily, the former Chief Minister said that in respect of domestic consumers and industrial units, there were still many other States that were having lower charges than Tamil Nadu. Besides, the power consumers had to bear a 6% hike annually hereafter.
The increase in the power tariff had come after a 100% hike in property tax rates, Mr. Palaniswami said, calling upon the DMK government to be “responsive to sentiments of people”, who were yet to overcome the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hits out at DMK
He criticised the DMK regime for the closure of 2,000 Amma Clinics, “deterioration” in law and order, “widespread prevalence” of ganja on campuses of educational institutions and “removal of a number of beneficiaries” from old age pension. He also pulled up the government for its failure to bring in a law against online rummy. He questioned the need for holding a public consultation on the matter.
Describing Chief Minister M.K. Stalin as a “puppet CM”, Mr. Palaniswami urged the government to lower the price of diesel, on the lines of what other States had done. He argued that the non-reduction of the price had led to “high inflation” in the State.
Referring to the reported observations of senior leader Panruti S. Ramachandran against his leadership, the interim general secretary said he did not require the advice of Mr. Ramachandran, who was a “party hopper”. Mr. Palaniswami added that amid several challenges such as natural disasters, numerous agitations and sabotage within the party, he had run the State administration “effectively” for over four years.