This Article is From Feb 16, 2015

Days After AAP's Victory, PM Modi's Jibe at Parties Which 'Promise Free Power'

Days After AAP's Victory, PM Modi's Jibe at Parties Which 'Promise Free Power'

PM Modi at a conference on renewable energy. (Photo: Press Trust of India)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at pre-election promises to reduce power and water bills on Sunday, saying he wondered how such promises could be made in states which were dependent on electricity from outside.

"During every election, political parties promise free power. People need to think about these promises," said PM Modi at a conference on renewable energy in Delhi. And the cost of water, he said, was "basically due to the cost of power".

The Prime Minister's comments came a day after the Aam Aadmi Party government took oath -- the party had won 67 of Delhi's 70 assembly seats last week, leaving the BJP to mop up the remaining three.

A chunk of its votes came from the economically backward section, which is now waiting for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to deliver on his promises regarding cheaper electricity and free water.

Delhi has a power demand of about 5,000 MW and is largely dependent on other states to meet its requirements.

"I don't want to make any adverse comment on the Prime Minister," said senior AAP leader Ashutosh.He said he would only request the PM to help make electricity affordable, "because that will do a lot of good for the people of Delhi".

AAP leader Ashish Khetan said though power plants may be located in other states, "they produce electricity for the whole country". Reducing power tariff and bringing reforms in the power sector is a "different issue" and cannot be linked to power production, he added.

The earlier governments in Delhi neither promoted solar energy nor did they have any good policy on alternate sources of energy, he added.

The Congress criticised the Prime Minister's statement.

"Even as we speak, there is an Akali-BJP government in Punjab and power to the farmers is free," said senior Congress leader Manish Tewari. "So is PM Narendra Modi going to advice the BJP in Punjab to take it up with the Akali Dal that power tariff should be imposed on Punjab farmers?"