Power crisis: Left parties serve ultimatum
Begin indefinite fast; Resolve to intensify stir in two days; To bringA state administration to standstill;...
Begin indefinite fast; Resolve to intensify stir in two days; To bringA state administration to standstill; Seek to rope in TDP, YSRCP Hyderabad: The left parties combine is out to launch a blitzkrieg against the government for its failure to address the worsening power crisis impacting the agriculture and industry alike. Leaders of Left parties, who had launched an indefinite hunger strike resolved on Sunday to step up the stir by taking it to grassroots if the government failed to respond to their appeal to spare the consumers from the tariff hike, which is on the anvil as well as the recurring burden of fuel surcharge adjustment. They are hopeful of other principal political parties too joining the forefront of the fight against the government. By all means the hunger strike will soon turn into a statewide continuous agitation mounting pressure on the government. They seek to bring the administration to standstill from village level to the state capital, besides picketing the residences of ministers and Congress MLAs from next week. Prompted by the public outcry against the fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA), a quarterly addition to the regular power bill, the agitation was bound to yield the desired results, felt the leaders of the left parties. The nine main demands for which they launched the protest included shelving the move to raking in Rs 12,700 crore by hiking power charges, scrapping FSA system by compensating the power utilities from the exchequer, continuation of Telescopic system in tariff collection, stop power cuts, uninterrupted seven-hour power supply to agriculture, removal of Merchant Power policy, cancellation of all permissions to private plants and augmentation of power generation capacity of the APGENCO facilities by allocating additional coal and gas to the power plants in the state. BV Raghavulu, CPM state secretery, told The Hans India that the power agitation was launched with a slogan "walk separately and fight unitedly" and urged all opposition parties to join hands with left parties.A Once the TDP and the YSRCP take part in the fight against the government, the agitation will get intensified and sure to have its impact. In the wake of the present political developments and changing political equations, the two strong opposition parties are yet to join the power strike. The two parties were fighting with each other to show their upper hand on every issue. "It will be a major hindrance to intensify the agitation if the two main opposition parties did not join the agitation", he said. The CPM leader recalled that all the opposition parties fought with unity against increased power tariffs by the TDP government in 2000. This time, left parties were together and hoped that other opposition parties would join the stir soon. CPI flays anti-people policies K Narayana, CPI state secretary, came down heavily on Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for his 'anti- people policies, which ultimately put heavy burden on the common man. Reddy's adamant attitude and distancing himself from the tariff hike issue in the name of APERC was strongly objectionable. The Left parties had opposed this in the hearings conducted by the ERC and addressed letters to the Chief Minister besides conducting agitations in a phased manner. But, the government did not respond. Narayana warned that the left parties would bring the government to the knees if it did not concede the demands and took back the proposal to hike power tariff. CPI (ML) New Democracy Secretariat member G Diwakar alleged that the government left the state in dark by imposing continuous power cuts even before the summer began. Farmers and small industries bore the brunt of power cuts in the last three years resulting in lakhs of people being rendered jobless. MCPI (U) state executive member MA Ghouse demanded the government to stop supplying gas and coal to other states. He wanted all fuels available within the state be utilised for meeting the state's needs only. Forward Block leader K Dayanand alleged that the government conspired to weaken APGENCO by introducing Merchant Power policy which benefited the private companies. Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) state Committee member J Ramesh Naik said the left parties were preparing their strategy to intensify the power struggle on the lines of the power movement taken up by the Left parties and succeeded in 2000. CPI (ML) state leader B Veeranna demanded the Congress to implement its promises-- nine-hour free power supply to farm sector and no hike in power tariff till 2014 incorporated in the 2009 election manifesto. The Congress would be buried forever if it continued with its anti-people policies, he added.