No sooner had the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) announced a rollback in the power tariff hike, than the BJP, the AAP and the Congress rushed in to take credit.
The regulatory body categorically stated that the rollback was not due to political pressure. Political parties, however, differed. The BJP claimed that the rollback was due to the “atmosphere” it created, AAP said it was because it had threatened to launch another movement and the Congress claimed that it was due to its threat of a hunger strike.
Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said, “In the last 24 hours, the BJP had created an atmosphere of protest. We were helped by the media. This forced DERC to recall its decision to hike power tariff.” He said BJP would go to any extent to fulfil its commitment of cheap and regular power supply in Delhi.
The AAP leaders pointed out that it was they who had consistently maintained that power tariff structure in Delhi should not be touched until the account books of discoms are scrutinised by the Comptroller & Auditor General.
“The BJP is under tremendous pressure from power companies to increase power tariffs. In the last 20 hours, it is clear that DERC is not an autonomous institution and it works on the government’s direction. The proof of this is when the AAP challenged the decision, the BJP got scared and the DERC withdrew its decision,” AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said.
In a statement, the AAP, also said, “The DERC’s U-turn has proved that it allowed its autonomy to be trampled by the BJP’s Central government and the unresponsive Delhi administration with the sole intention of letting the private power distribution companies (discoms) impose an unnecessary burden on the people.”
The Congress blamed the “unrealistic” promises of BJP and AAP and said the BJP had promised a reduction in power tariff by 30 per cent, without subsidy. “They are misleading the people of Delhi. Harsh Vardhan and other leaders of the BJP had made these promises. But now they have gone back on their word and overturned all its decisions,” Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said.