Arvind Kejriwal-led govt announces free electricity up to 200 units in Delhi, says effort to extend 'khaas aadmi' privilege to 'aam aadmi'

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has announced free electricity up to 200 units for the residents of the National Capital. The announcement, which came around six months ahead of the Assembly election in the Union Territory, also included a 50 percent subsidy for people using 200 to 400 units of electricity.

In a press conference on Thursday, Keirjwal said that many "high-profile" MPs, MLAs, and officers had free electricity and he was only trying to extend that "privilege" to the general public.

"No one calls the free electricity of high-profile people 'freebies', so what am I doing wrong if I'm trying to extend the same privilege to the aam aadmi? I am only trying to extend the privilege of the 'khaas aadmi' to the 'aam aadmi'," the chief minister said.

Hailed the decision as historic, Kejriwal also said, "On one hand, there is an improvement in the power industry and on the other hand, people are getting cheap and continuous electricity."

"People used to pay Rs 622 for 200 units of electricity till yesterday, now it's free. For 250 units, they used to pay Rs 800, now they'll pay Rs 252. For 300 units, they used to pay Rs 971, now they'll pay Rs 526. For 400 units, they used to pay Rs 1,320, now they'll pay Rs 1,075," Kejriwal said, while giving a gist of the revised rates.

On Wednesday, the chief minister also tweeted a celebration for a "fifth consecutive year" with no electricity tariff hike. He added, "On the contrary, for the fifth consecutive year, the tariffs have reduced. Delhi has the lowest electricity tariffs in the country now, and Delhi is the only place in India with 24×7 electricity."

In the press conference on Thursday, Kejriwal dismissed speculation that the decision was an election gimmick when he was asked why he had made the announcement six months before the Assembly election.

He said, "When we had taken over the Delhi government in 2014, the power ministry was in very bad shape, but we have managed to revive it slowly, over the last four years. It's been a journey, we couldn't have announced free electricity immediately."

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 01, 2019 13:49:19 IST