Madhya Pradesh: Congress, BJP spar over power cuts

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BHOPAL: Power outages in Madhya Pradesh, which is an energy surplus state, seems to be becoming a political hot potato for the ruling Congress at a time when summer is at its peak.

With fresh complaints of power cuts started coming in from various areas, the opposition BJP has accused the ruling party of “inept” handling of the situation.

The issue hogged focus once again with noted Urdu poet Dr Rahat Indori tweeting his agony over repeated power cuts in his area in Indore.

“Nowadays power cut has become common, even today there was no electricity for the last three hours…it’s hot, Ramzan going on…..nobody picking up phone at @mppkvvclindore (twitter account of Indore office of Power company)….please help….@iPriyavratSingh (MPs Minister for Energy Priyavrat Singh) @OfficeOfKNath (Chief Minister Kamal Nath),” he said in a tweet Sunday evening.

After his tweet went viral and the BJP fired barbs at the ruling party, Chief Minister Kamal Nath directed power company officials to review the energy situation on a daily basis.

During campaigning for the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, some Congress leaders used to claim that certain staffers of power distribution companies were working against the ruling Congress.

Narendra Saluja, spokesperson of the state Congress and media coordinator for Nath, said the chief minister has sought information from officials concerned about how power cuts are happening in energy surplus state like Madhya Pradesh.

He said the CM directed officials to ensure 24-hour power supply for domestic consumers and a 10-hour supply for agriculture.

“The CM said though action was taken against some officials over power cuts before the elections. He was wondering how such issues are coming to the fore again in parts of the state,” Saluja said.

He said the chief minister has warned of strict action if the officials concerned failed to mend their ways.

Saluja said Nath also referred to the complaints that power company officials are not picking up phones of people.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP has accused the state government of being apathetic towards the issue.

“During campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, Nath, to hide his government’s failure, used to blame the BJP and certain officials for power cuts. Even after elections, power cuts continue in every part of the state despite it being a power surplus state,” said state BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal.

In the run up to Parliamentary polls, state Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot had said that some officials of power distribution companies were working against the Congress, resulting in power outages.

When contacted, Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Managing Director, Sukhvir Singh, said that energy generation and supply in the state is gone up by 12 per cent compared to the previous year.

“In April and May last year, 552.5 crore and 600 crore units were supplied, respectively. In April this year, 623.7 crore units of electricity were supplied. Similarly in May, the supply increased to 670 crore units,” Singh said.

The MD said the maximum demand for power went up to 14,000 MW.

“The average demand for power has increased to 9500 MW this year compared to 8500 MW last year,” he added.

Source: Press Trust of India