In remarks interpreted as a reference to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over its promise to reduce power bills in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said political parties in states that do not generate their own electricity always make promises of providing free electricity during election campaigns.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the Renewable Energy Investors Meet, the Prime Minister made these comments while emphasising on the need to reduce electricity bills of farmers. He said an effective way of doing this was to develop solar pumps to access groundwater for irrigation.
“If there is a way to pump water through solar pumps, the input costs for our farmers will be reduced considerably. Today, the major component for input cost is water and the main reason for this is electricity prices. And electricity is not readily available,” Modi said.
“So what do political parties do? In every election, they promise that they will provide free electricity. And which political parties make such promises? Those (states) which do not have electricity (generation) of their own,” he said.
Lower price for electricity has been one of the main promises made by the AAP during the run-up to the recently concluded Assembly elections in which the party won a landslide majority.
The AAP played down the comments of the Prime Minister, saying he had not named any state or a party. “The Prime Minister did not name any leader or party, so we would not like to specifically comment on what he has said. But our suggestion is that since elections are over, all political leaders and parties should stop blaming each other and join hands to work on development,” AAP spokesperson Atishi Marlena said.
“During elections, we had seen advertisements with the Prime Minister’s photos promising that electricity tariffs would be reduced by half. We had put forth a concrete programme and roadmap on the issue of electricity tariffs. The mandate to us shows that people have faith in our programme,” she said.