The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday promised that if it is voted to power in Uttar Pradesh, its government will provide 300 units of electricity free of cost to all domestic consumers, waive outstanding bills of 38 lakh families and ensure 24-hour power supply.
Addressing a press conference, AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also announced providing free electricity to farmers.
The AAP has made similar promises in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa where assembly polls are due in early next year.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party, which has decided to contest all 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, alleged that electricity tariff is so expensive in Uttar Pradesh that it is becoming very difficult for people to pay the bill.
At the same time, Mr Sisodia alleged, the government tells people to either pay the electricity bill or be tagged as criminals.
Claiming that there are hundreds of instances in Uttar Pradesh wherein common people have died by suicide after receiving inflated electricity bills, Mr Sisodia said a farmer in Aligarh, named Ramji Lal, killed himself over non-payment of electricity bill while in Etah, a 17-year-old girl died by suicide just because the electricity department had sent a wrong bill to her father who was declared a criminal for not paying it.
"There are 38 lakh families in Uttar Pradesh who have been sent inflated electricity bills and the government is considering them as criminals. I want to tell these people that you support the Aam Aadmi Party and ensure that our party forms the government after the assembly elections. Tear the bills as soon as the government is formed. Everyone's outstanding bill will be waived. This is Arvind Kejriwal's guarantee," Mr Sisodia said.
He said that today electricity is not a luxury but a basic necessity and it is the responsibility of every government to make it available to every citizen.
The party promised to provide 300 units of electricity free of cost to all domestic consumers per billing cycle, waive outstanding bills of 38 lakh families and ensure 24-hour power supply.
AAP Rajya Sabha member and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Sanjay Singh told the press conference that Kejriwal does what he says. Whatever announcements have been made today, including providing 300 units of free electricity, are historic, Singh said.
Asked about the party's chief ministerial candidate, Mr Sisodia said when the time comes, the party will take a decision on it.
The party is contesting the elections under the leadership of Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)