Agitation by BJP over lockdown power bill waiver on Monday

Nagpur

Nagpur: Targeting Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government for its failure to keep a promise to provide a rebate in power bills to consumers, who had received inflated bills during the lockdown period, BJP has announced it will burn electricity bills in every town and village of the state on Monday.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, BJP general secretary Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the MVA government had announced during the budget session that it would waive off power bills of consumers using up to 100 units every month, for five years. “BJP had not demanded this. The government had declared this on its own. Now it must fulfill the promise,” he added.

Bawankule further demanded that consumers using up to 300 units should get a complete waiver for the months of March, April, May, and June. “The government itself has several times said it would provide relief to consumers. How can it backtrack now? Energy minister Nitin Raut says there is a debt of Rs59,000 crore on Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). The money has to be provided by the state government and not by MSEDCL. The government will have to pay Rs5,000 crore to all the four power companies for this waiver,” he said.

Raut had tweeted on Friday morning that he would conduct an inquiry as to how the arrears of MSEDCL increased from Rs15,000 crore in 2014 to Rs41,000 crore in 2019. Countering Raut, Bawankule said, “Of the Rs41,000 crore, about Rs30,000 crore are owned by farmers. We did not disconnect farmers because they were in distress. If Raut wants to conduct an inquiry into this, he is welcome. Secondly, the arrears increased by Rs19,000 crore during his tenure.”