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BJP, AAP, Congress vie to take credit for rollback of electricity tariff hike

PTI November 15, 2014 8:55 IST

New Delhi: The BJP, AAP and Congress welcomed the electricity tariff roll back by the DERC even as each claimed credit for the move as they prepare for the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.

BJP said that during last 24 hours in public interest, it created a atmosphere, helped by the media in Delhi, which forced DERC to recall its decision to hike power tariff.

Congress and AAP, on the other hand, claimed it was the threat of them calling for widespread protests which had led to the roll back.

Facing a severe attack from political parties, Delhi's power regulator DERC today withdrew the power tariff hike of up to seven per cent which was announced yesterday.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) said the hike was rolled back after "realising" that a number of power generation companies, including NTPC, which supply electricity to the city, had provided only partial information about price of fuel such as coal and gas.

"During last 24 hours, BJP in public interest created an atmosphere helped by the media in Delhi which forced DERC to recall its decision to hike power tariff. BJP would go to any extent to fulfil its commitment of cheap and properly priced regular power supply to Delhi," said state BJP president, Satish Upadhyay.

He said that in the last six months, the Centre has taken many positive decisions in the public interest and party workers should take this message to every home they approach for its membership drive.

AAP claimed that DERC rolled back the hike in electricity tariff after BJP got scared of the public backlash and agitation the party had called over the issue.

"The BJP knows it cannot increase the tariff directly, but it tried doing so by a back door process. After the fare hike decision, we had decided to undertake an agitation. BJP got scared of this, which resulted in the roll back," AAP leader Yogendra Yadav told a news conference here.

Accusing BJP of reneging on its poll promises, DPCC Chief Arvinder Singh Lovely alleged that the ruling party at the Centre had "forced" the regulator to raise prices under pressure from corporate groups.

"After Congress threatened to launch widespread protests under which its leader Mukhesh Sharma sat on an indefinite fast, BJP had to relent and once again force the DERC to rollback the hike," Lovely told reporters here.

Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said the reversal was "unprecedented" in the history of Delhi.

DERC chairperson PD Sudhakar said that additional information on the cost of power generation in coal and gas- based stations has been sought and a fresh decision on the tariff would be taken within two weeks after examining the details.