RIDING on a high morale after the violent clashes with the police on August 27 during the Nabanna march and a general strike of central trade unions on Wednesday, a rejuvenated Left Front is all set to launch agitations across the state over sharp power tariff hike by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL).
“Both the agencies have raised the price of electricity unreasonably. We will put up demonstrations on September 9 and 10 in front of Victoria House, office of the CESC,” said Left Front chairman Biman Bose Friday.
He said the district LF committees have been asked to prepare a protest plan against WBSEDCL by September 10.
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While the CESC caters to around 29 lakh consumers in Kolkata, Howrah and adjoining areas, state-owned WBSEDCL has nearly 1.5 crore consumers on board, across the state.
Bose said the CESC had raised power charges by 61 per cent every 100 units from April 2011 to April 2015.
“Power tariff for every 100 unit was Rs 420.85 in April 2011 and it has gone up to Rs 675.65 in April 2015, registering a rise of Rs 254.8,” Bose said, adding that WBSEDCL rate per unit of power in 2010-11 was Rs 4.73 while it stood at Rs 6.97 per unit in 2014-15.
Attacking the state government behind the unprecedented rise in power prices’, Bose said the previous Left Front government had provided subsidised power to an extent.
Demanding to hold Asansol and Bidhannagar civic polls on October 3, Bose alleged that the state election commission (SEC) was acting as a political tool of the ruling Trinamoool Congress.
“The SEC is acting as a stooge of the TMC. The TMC doesn’t have any faith in the democracy and that is why they are adopting various means to subvert it,” Bose alleged.
An LF delegation had met State Election Commissioner S R Upadhyay on Thursday and submitted a memorandum demanding that the elections be held on October 3.
The delegation rued that neither the state government nor the SEC had issued any notification for filing of nomination for the elections which was earlier decided to held on October 3.
The delegation also said that the delay in notifying election process for the civic bodies was creating political uncertainty and as the term of all the local civic bodies in those two municipal corporations had already ended, they were being run unconstitutionally by Trinamool nominees.
State CPM secretary and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra visited the nine party leaders who had been injured during the police lathicharge in a rally during the trade union bandh, including MLA Insar Ali Biswas, at Murshidabad Medical College.
Addressing party workers at Behrampore’s Grant Maidan Hall Friday, Mishra said, “I suggest you carry ‘danda’ along with the ‘red jhanda’ in future, not to attack but to use for your own defence.”