UP is so short of power that the government issued orders albeit withdrawn in 24 hours that malls and shops across the state should shut at 7 pm. And yet,there are no power cuts in Etawah,Mainpuri,Kannauj and Auraiyya the political base of the Mulayam Singh Yadav clan.
There are also no cuts in Rampur,hometown of senior minister Azam Khan. Capital Lucknow too is exempt.
Until last Saturday,some 100 other towns were partially exempt from cuts. All these towns are homes of influential Samajwadi Party leaders like Barabanki,which has three ministers,or Hardoi,party MP Naresh Agarwals home,or Amroha,to which minister Mehboob Ali belongs.
Opposition leaders in the assembly have repeatedly alleged favouritism in electricity supply,with certain areas getting more power than others.
Avnish Awasthi,chairman-cum-managing director of UP Power Corporation Limited,denied special treatment to any district,but said,Only Etawah,Mainpuri and Kannauj are getting uninterrupted power. And in Rampur,it is only the city.
He denied partial exemption to towns and cities of influential politicians. There is nothing like this. In fact,all are getting power as per norms, Awasthi said. He blamed a shortage of coal,a terrible summer and a delay in the monsoon for the current power situation.
Sources said orders for exemption from power cuts are issued by UPPCL on instructions from the CMs office.