Power Crisis A Result Of Chandrababu's Undoing

Power Crisis A Result Of Chandrababu's Undoing - Sakshi Post

In Andhra Pradesh, the Opposition  Telugu Desam  Party, Jana Sena, and BJP have been overtly critical of the hike in power tariffs and the power cuts in the State. Criticism by the Opposition and the Government's rejoinder is a normal routine. But what is interesting was that when the Telangana government had increased the electricity charges by Rs 5,500 crore not a single leader came out to question, that too when they made tall claims of their (Jana Sena) presence in the State. But when the State of AP raised the electricity charges to Rs 1400 crore, they went all gung ho and so did their allied media houses which went overboard with news of the price hike.  The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Center is adopting a different policy for each state statehood. Whatever is done at the central level has to be accepted, but they will continue to protest in the States as the Opposition. Agreed power cuts are inconveniencing the public, but if the government does not act in accordance with the real situation, the whole system will collapse. The previous government had left Rs 22,000 crore in arrears to the Discoms which we are paying, said former Minister Perni Nani once.

TDP chief Chandrababu who is adept at exaggerating numbers is alleging that the YS Jagan-led government alone had imposed a burden of Rs 42,000 crore in arrears. If that was the case wouldn’t there be a major uproar from the public? If that was the case the TDP should have won all the elections held in the State and swept the local bodies' elections.

The TDP leaders are propagating another lie that they never raised current charges during Chandrababu's time. But a video of Chandrababu himself announcing an increase of Rs 900 crore in the Assembly is now circulating on social media. Until the 2004 elections, Chandrababu claimed to be a pioneer of the power reforms and had done a great deal for the farmers. He once stated that giving free electricity to farmers means hanging clothes on power lines. When Congress and the Leftists raised an agitation over this, four people were shot dead in Hyderabad, an incident which can never be forgotten. There were also shootings at Kaldari in the West Godavari district. It was said that the power crisis was also one of the reasons for Chandrababu's defeat at the time.

Chandrababu and Pawan Kalyan, who have reacted strongly to the hike in electricity tariffs, have not yet spoken about the increase in petrol and diesel prices and somehow hesitate to critcise the BJP at the Centre. In the past eight years since the Modi government came to power, petrol and diesel rates have gone up from around Rs 40 to Rs 45. Cooking LPG gas reached a thousand rupees. Oil companies raised rates for nine days over a ten-day period. That means consumers are paying up to about seven rupees extra per liter. But then Chandrababu and Pawan Kalyan are unable to raise their voice over this issue. It is not wrong to criticize the current hike in charges, but it should be done on a rational and factual basis. The BJP also has its own stance. Despite the worsening hike in petrol and diesel prices at the Center, they blame the international conditions.But if there is an increase in electricity charges in AP then they dub it a failure of the state government. The petrol and diesel prices have been hiked in many states not just AP.

Another important aspect to note is that the Chandrababu government had agreed to buy solar power at higher rates, i.e., more than four and a half rupees per unit. On top of that, the agreement was for 25 years. If the current AP government reviewed this and tried to reduce rates, the same TDP, BJP, and TDP's allied media created a furor over this. They claimed that unless the agreement was not implemented and the rates were decreased, the state would lose out on investments.

 But now they are questioning how the government can increase electricity charges in a complete change of stance as per their own convenience. With regards to power cuts, the TDP media alleged that the problem was due to the government's lack of advance planning. They posted news and photos giving an illusion that there was no electricity in Andhra Pradesh. The issue of coal shortage is not a state issue but in fact, the problem is an international issue that intensified after the Russian war on Ukraine. China is also facing power cuts. In India, Gujarat also announced a power holiday for one day a week. According to an article in the Financial Express, there is a power shortage across the country. The problem is found in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh. Industry-rich states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra are struggling to supply electricity. The article explained that they were trying to buy and manage electricity supply at a very high cost. However, our AP officials have stated that the power supply is expected to improve by the end of this month.

It is understood that the people will not keep quiet if there are power cuts and hikes in power tariffs. Even if the Government introduces new welfare schemes or adopts programs for people's benefit, the public will only speak about the basic necessities like electricity, water, and roads. Therefore the government should be extremely vigilant in this regard. Let us hope that the new Minister of Power, Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, will work carefully in this regard and resolve the issue of power shortage at the earliest.

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