AAP protests against power tariff hike in Punjab; police use water cannon
Police used water canons on Friday to stop the Aam Aadmi Party workers protesting against the hike in power tariff in Punjab from moving towards chief minister Amarinder Singh's residence in Chandigarh.
The main Opposition party also sought scrapping of power purchase agreements signed during previous SAD-BJP regime with private plants.
Chandigarh police used water cannons to stop the protesters from going towards the chief minister's residence.
The protest was led by Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann. Several party MLAs including Harpal Singh Cheema, Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Baljinder Kaur participated in the massive protest.
AAP leaders claimed that party workers sustained injuries because of the water cannon and several party workers were taken into custody by the police.
Power rates in Punjab were increased by 36 paise a unit with effect from January 1 for domestic consumers.
The party leaders alleged that power consumers were being forced to pay between Rs 9 and Rs 12 a unit which was 'much higher' as compared to electricity rates in other states.
Mann said on the one hand, Punjab which produces own electricity, was selling electricity to consumers at higher rates and on the other hand, the Kejriwal-led government in Delhi, which produces not even a single unit of power, was providing cheapest electricity to the people there.
The AAP said the Congress before coming to power had promised to review the power purchase agreements but failed to do so despite being in power for more than two and a half years now.
AAP leaders also claimed that there had been recurring hike in electricity rates allegedly because of the pressure of the private power companies.