Delhi’s Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal has played his trump card in the bid to win assembly elections in Punjab in 2022. Kejriwal is visiting Punjab today and is set to make the promise of providing free power to consumers in Punjab, in line with the model implemented in Delhi. The announcement is a promising move in a state where high electricity bills have led to resentment among the voters.
पंजाब एक नई सुबह के लिए तैयार हो रहा है और मैं पंजाब पहुंचने के लिए…मिलते हैं बस कुछ घंटे बाद…
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 29, 2021
In his visit to Punjab on Tuesday, Kejriwal made 3 promises- free electricity up to 300 units, 24 hours electricity and a waiver on old electricity bills.
– 300 Unit तक बिजली बिल माफ
– बिजली के पुराने बिल माफ
– 24 घंटे मुफ्त बिजली
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) June 29, 2021
High rates of electricity is a contentious issue in the border state and have created anger among the population against both the traditional parties in Punjab – Congress and the Akali Dal. The Akali Dal-BJP alliance government which was in power till 2017 had negotiated power purchase agreements with private companies which led to a significant increase in power tariffs. Punjab’s current CM, Congress leader Amarinder Singh had vowed to cancel the agreements and renegotiate them. However, the promise hasn’t been kept as yet, as reported by News18.
Looking into the opportunity, AAP has promised free power and the re-negotiation of these ‘lopsided’ agreements. The populist move has been implemented in Delhi where consumers who use less than 200 units of power are charged nothing. Claiming that Punjab has the most expensive electricity, AAP MLA Harpal Singh Cheema said, “Arvind Kejriwal will lay out the complete plan if reducing electricity tariff in Punjab.”
In the run-up to the 2022 elections, Kejriwal has already announced that his party’s chief ministerial candidate will be a Jat Sikh. The AAP had first contested elections in Punjab in 2017 when it bagged 20 seats out of 117. The Congress party under the leadership of Capt. Amarinder Singh had swept the elections by winning in 77 constituencies.