Congress on Friday came down hard on AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal accusing him of “deceiving” people on waiving 50 per cent electricity bills of consumers who did not pay their dues as part of AAP’s power agitation.
“As Chief Minister, Kejriwal had promised to waive pending bills of over 24,000 consumers. But on Thursday, the government informed the Delhi High Court that AAP government did not make any provision for it,” chief spokesperson of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma said. The city government on Thursday took a stand contrary to the Cabinet decision of the then Kejriwal dispensation in the High Court saying it cannot waive 50 per cent of the power bills of the defaulters as no provision for it was made.
On February 12, a Cabinet meeting presided by the then Chief Minister Kejriwal had decided that consumers who did not pay their electricity bills as part of AAP’s agitation against power tariff hike will have to shell out only half of their total dues. The legal department of the government had said that such a waiver can only be given prospectively and not retrospectively as per the statute, Electricity Act, 2003.
“Kejriwal had made a number of announcements when he was the Chief Minister. But most of them were misleading and could not be implemented,” said Sharma. The Delhi Congress leader also alleged that Kejriwal refused to furnish a bail bond in a criminal defamation case and preferred to go to jail to get public sympathy.
“He had apprehension that some MLAs may desert the party. AAP’s support base was eroding and that is why he chose to go to jail. The people of Delhi have realised his tactics,” Sharma alleged.
The Congress leader said Kejriwal has resorted to “theatrics” as assembly election in Delhi may take place soon. Kejriwal’s jail stay was extended till June 6 today as he remained adamant on not furnishing bail bond in a criminal defamation case against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, with a Delhi court chiding him for “legal illiteracy” and asking him to be “sensible”.