The fight for power among major political outfits in upcoming Assembly elections due next year in Uttarakhand seems to be surrounded by – power (electricity), at least until the polls are over.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has been presenting itself as a political alternative in the State, on Sunday, made four promises, all related to electricity.
AAP’s national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, during his visit to Dehradun on Sunday, made four promises – free electricity up to 300 units for every household per month, old electricity bills to be waived completely, free electricity for agriculture purposes and the fourth and the last – zero power cut in Uttarakhand, if his party (AAP) forms government in the State.
AAP’s announcement came a week after ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised to provide free electricity up to 100 units per month and 50 per cent subsidy on total electricity used above 100 units.
Having an experimented formula to provide subsidised power for the last six years in Delhi, Kejriwal explained how 300 units of electricity can be given for free to the people of Uttarakhand.
Replying to queries of press reporters in Dehradun, AAP head said, “We have not made these announcements just like that, we have made a calculated estimate for this. Uttarakhand’s annual budget is around Rs 50,000 crore, of which only Rs 1,200 crore will cost for subsided electricity.”
He continued to justify his claim, adding that Delhi’s annual budget is around Rs 60,000, of which 2,200 crore is being spent to provide subsided electricity to the people of the national capital.
“Uttarakhand itself generates electricity and also sells it to other states. Then why is electricity so expensive for the people of Uttarakhand? Delhi does not generate its own electricity and buys it from other states. Still, electricity in Delhi is free. Shouldn’t the people of Uttarakhand get free electricity?” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal-led AAP seems to be leaving no stone unturned to get a foothold in Uttarakhand, highlighting development works the party claims to have done in Delhi in the span of the last six years and promising the same in poll bound Uttarakhand, which so far has been ruled either by the BJP or the Congress.
However, the AAP did not announce the name of chief ministerial candidate for Uttarakhand. “We will announce AAP’s chief minister’s face for Uttarakhand soon. I will come soon here with some more promises,” Kejriwal added.