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With massive rally against tariff hike,Delhi BJP opens election campaign

Promising voters of Delhi a respite from increasing power tariffs and better living conditions,Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: August 12, 2013 1:35:18 am

Promising voters of Delhi a respite from increasing power tariffs and better living conditions,Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday held its first major rally,officially beginning campaigning for the upcoming Assembly elections. Claiming to put up a united front,the party unveiled its formula to bring down power tariffs in Delhi.

However,Sunday’s ‘Bijli Andolan’ witnessed the absence of Delhi election incharge and former national president Nitin Gadkari and co-incharge Navjot Singh Siddhu.

Doling out promises one after the other,the BJP leaders claimed that they would bring down power tariffs by 30 per cent if voted to power.

Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel alleged that Congress would increase the tariffs by 300 per cent if it was elected to power for another term. “If elected again,the Congress government will also withdraw the subsidy that it doled out just ahead of elections,” he said.

“To pay electricity bills,you will soon have to take loans from banks. It is not a BJP rally,it is an ‘aakrosh rally,” Goel said.

Goel also spoke of severalways to cut power tariff rates. Drawing parallels with the telecom companies,Goel said,“In 1996,the rate for incoming and outgoing calls on cellphones was Rs 16,and now it is 30 paisa. It is only because of competition that the rates have came down. The day we come to power,we will make the discoms compete with each other.”

Meanwhile,former Delhi chief Harsh Vardhan accused Sheila Dikshit’s government of being hand in glove with the private discoms.

“There are written allegations against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of corruption in CWG (Commonwealth Games). Now,the transport scam too will become a big issue. Congress has put pressure on DERC to accede to demands of private companies. We will not let water be privatised. Congress has duped people by promising regularisation of colonies. But we will regularise them if we are voted to power,” Vardhan claimed.

Speaking at the same rally,BJP national president Rajnath Singh said,“If we come to power,we will bring down power rates and give basic amenities in five to seven years to residents of rural areas and unauthorised areas.”

Senior leaders tried to portray a unified face,reiterating that there was no rift among leaders within the party. Yet,many leaders were offended by absence of former Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana and former Chief Minister late Sahib Singh Verma from the pamphlets and posters in the rally.

“We have been hurt by the absence of Khurana’s and Verma’s pictures and references from the rally. There were 20 leaders on the advertisement and they could not find space for these two leaders who still link us to Delhi voters,” a senior leader said.

At the same time,actor and BJP member Kirron Kher’s presence on stage gave way to speculations among party leaders about her role in the Delhi assembly elections.

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