Amritsar, November 23

Former minister Bikram Singh Majithia today exposed chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s lie that power bills in Punjab had been reduced by Rs three per unit by releasing bills received by consumers which prove that they are still being charged the old rates and that the much hyped reduction has not taken place.

Addressing newsmen here, Mr Bikram Majithia said Mr Charanjit Channi was trying to deceive Punjabis in the same manner as done by Capt Amarinder Singh by making false promises. He said Channi had even gone one step further by taking credit for the reduction of power bills by spending crores of rupees advertising a lie.

Giving details, Mr Majithia said the chief minister had announced that power bills would be reduced by Rs 3 per unit across all categories. He said the cabinet also cleared this proposal following which posters were put up everywhere to take credit for this measure. “The truth is entirely different”, he said while showing bills to prove that the power tariff had not been reduced in any category starting from the lowest tariff of Rs 4.19 per unit which was to be reduced to Rs 1.19 per unit.

Mr Majithia also asserted that the chief minister had lied by stating that the erstwhile SAD led government had arrived at a PPA with renewable energy producers to purchase power at Rs 17.28 per unit. He said the truth of the matter was that the central electricity commission during the tenure of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had decided of a tariff of Rs 17.28 per unit for one project of 9 mega watt for which the central government bore the major cost of Rs 12.50 per unit. “I challenge the chief minister to prove that this cost was borne by Punjab and I will not contest elections again”.

Terming the chief minister as Alaniajit Singh Channi or someone who only made announcements, the senior Akali leader said it was strange that while the CM claimed that the treasury was full; his finance minister maintained it was empty. “It seems neither the chief minister nor the finance minister know their jobs. Even the Pradesh Congress President has maintained that they are merely serving lollipops to Punjabis and have done nothing except burden the State with a debt of Rs three lakh crore”.

Asserting that all the announcements made by the chief minister had turned to be hollow, Mr Majithia said Punjabis had been mislead with claims of sand prices being reduced to Rs 5.50 per cubic feet when the material was being sold at five times this cost. He said the mining mafia was being run by Congressmen as earlier and that now Punjab Congress Incharge Harish Chaudhary had taken over control of this operation. “People are suffering on account of this loot with a truck of sand selling for up to Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000”, he added.

When queried about the latest promise of AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal who has promised to give Rs 1,000 per month to all women in the State if AAP forms the government, Mr Majithia questioned if the promise was even right. He said the amount should be given to the needy adding Kejriwal had made the announcement without even thinking of the repercussions it would have on the State treasury as he was competing with Mr Channi is promising the moon to the people. He said the latest promise was unviable as it would entail a cost of Rs 11,000 crore per month.

Mr Majithia also asked Kejriwal to first tell if he had implemented any of the promises he was making in Punjab in Delhi. He said the AAP government in Delhi was even refusing to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel and had given 414 government jobs after promising eight lakh jobs to youth. “It seems Kejriwal wants to run away from Delhi where he has failed abysmally and is casting his eyes on Punjab. He however will be disappointed as Punjabis have seen through him and his double faced policies on Punjab be it on SYL, stubble burning or thermal power stations and will never trust him again. EOM

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