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Cong MP wants Chavan to toe AAP line in Mumbai.

CALL IT the m dmi Party ( P) effect. A day after the P- led Delhi government honoured one of its poll promises by reducing the power tariff by 50 per cent, Congress leaders in Maharashtra urged the Prithviraj Chavan- led government to do the same in Mumbai ahead of the 2014 general polls.

The Congress MP from Mumbai, Sanjay Nirupam, on Wednesday wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, asking him to reduce the power tariff of residential consumers. Nirupam has also sought an audit of power companies, including Reliance and Tata Power. The Brihanumumbai Electric and Supply Undertaking ( BEST) also supplies power to the city.

Nirupam in his letter to Chavan has said the government should reduce the burden of residential consumers who use less than 500 units a month.

" We have been raising the issue of inflated power bills in the past too. However, the power companies told us that the prices are fixed by the regulator. Now, the Delhi government has unilaterally taken a decision to subsidise the power tariff.

We too should initiate such steps in Mumbai," said Nirupam.

The Congress MP in his letter has demanded that the subsidy and the audit of power firms should happen soon, and warned the chief minister of an agitation unless these are not carried out.

" In the past 10 years, the power tariff in Mumbai has increased by around four times in all sectors. The possibility that some sort of cartelisation exists cannot be ruled out since the companies supplying power have been increasing the tariff from time to time under one pretext or the other... The situation in Mumbai is similar to that of Delhi where the very same power distribution companies supply power," he said.

Nirupam, however, did not specify how long he would wait for the state government's decision on these issues. The MP said he would speak to Chavan in a couple of days.

However, unlike the P that has promised to reduce the power bills by 50 per cent for those consuming below 400 units, Nirupam has not asked the government to fix a target to bring down the subsidised tariff.

" It is up to the government to decide how much subsidy it should give. The consumers should be benefitted." Joining Nirupam, Maharashtra Congress Chief Manikrao Thakre has also said the state government should stop disconnecting the power supply of the farmers who are not able to pay inflated power bills.

Interestingly, P leaders who are visiting the city are also making such demands. On Wednesday, P leaders like Prashant Bhushan, who were in Mumbai for a news conference, asked why the Congress- led state government in Maharashtra had not reduced the power tariff of residential consumers so far. CM Chavan late in the day said he would give a favourable response to Sanjay Nirupam's letter that sought reduction in power tariff in Mumbai .

The Cong leader warns of an agitation if the Prithviraj Chavan- led state government does not reduce power tariff in Mumbai

P's Day 1 in Assembly on 12- 13

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 2, 2014
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