A bitter war of words broke out between Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and BJP legislators over the issue of power curtailment on Monday.
At a function organised by Power Development Department in connection with the launching of R-APRDP Part B Project for Jammu, the BJP MLAs accused Omar of “stealing” Jammu’s share of electricity for the Valley.
Trouble erupted at the function where Omar was the chief guest. As soon as the Chief Minister entered the venue of the function at Jammu Club, BJP legislator, taking everybody by surprise, started raising slogans against him and his government.
“Life of people has become a hell in Jammu as you are stealing their power despite scorching summer and supplying it to Kashmir Valley,” said Ashok Khajuria, leader of the BJP Legislatute Party in the State Legislative Assembly. He was accompanied by three other BJP MLAs – Sukhnandan, Sham Choudhary and Gharu Ram.
The agitating BJP legislators had a tiff with even PDD engineers and the police officers present there when they tried to intervene. There is no time for power curtailment…you stop the supply at whim, they added.
The heated exchanges led to commotion at the venue for nearly 10 minutes, with the Chief Minister watching the situation silently. Finally, the function started when BJP legislators were virtually whisked away from the hall by the police.
Later, Omar described the BJP MLAs as sycophants, saying “if they had so much concern for the welfare of the people of Jammu, they would not have voted against their own party nominee to get the National Conference candidate elected during the Legislative Council elections in 2003”. “They have all praise for me and Dr Farooq Abdullah when they come to us seeking favours,” he said.
People in various parts of Jammu region including even workers of Congress, which is a main partner in Omar-led coalition government in the state, have been holding demonstrations in various parts of the region in protest over frequent power cuts during scorching summer when mercury is touching 45 degree C. What has been all the more intriguing is that even metered areas in Jammu city and its outskirts are witnessing power cuts upto four hour and even more when there is no official curtailment at those places.
Senior PDD engineers describe these as forced curtailments made by them to save their transformers from burning due to excessive load during peak demand hours.