Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that his party will give 300 units of electricity free in Punjab if it comes to power in the state. Elections will be held in the state next year.
At a press briefing in Chandigarh’s Punjab Bhawan, Kejriwal made two more promises. He said that if elected to power, his party will ensure 24-hour electricity and waiving pending power bills.
“This is Kejriwal’s promise, not Captain’s [Amarinder Singh] vows,” the AAP chief said. “We deliver our promises. Captain’s promises haven’t been fulfilled even after five years.”
He said that he made similar promises in Delhi and now the city has round-the-clock power supply and has one of the cheapest electricity in the country.
Kejriwal said that the rate of electricity in Punjab is quite high even though the state produces its own power. Punjab generates surplus electricity but has hours-long power cuts across the state, he said and alleged that it was because there was a nexus between the state government, led by the Congress, and power companies.
By giving 300 units of free electricity, around 77%-80% of the population in Punjab will have zero electricity bill, he said. Kejriwal alleged that many people in Punjab get inflated electricity bills.
“How can a man who has one fan and two light bulbs in his home get an electricity bill of Rs 50,900?” the AAP chief asked. “These wrongs bills are sent deliberately. When the affected man goes to get his bill corrected, he is asked for an amount of money to fix the mistake.”
The Delhi chief minister said that if his party is elected to power in Punjab, his government will quickly waive arrears and provide free electricity. However, Kejriwal said, that ensuring round-the-clock electricity will take time.
He said that when his government came to power in Delhi, it took 2.5 years to develop and improve the infrastructure in the city. Kejriwal said that doing the same will take around 3-4 years in Punjab.
A day before his Chandigarh visit, Kejriwal had already promised free electricity but not given the details, reported PTI. “...In Delhi we provide 200 units of free electricity to every family,” Kejriwal had tweeted on Monday. “The women are very happy. Women in Punjab are also very unhappy with inflation. The AAP government will also provide free electricity in Punjab. See you tomorrow in Chandigarh.”
The Aam Aadmi Party had contested the 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab as well. It had managed to win 20 seats. The party is expecting to gain more ground in the state.