Power politics: In run-up to Tamil Nadu polls, Javadekar launches attack on state govt over electricity

Chennai: Escalating its attack on the AIADMK dispensation, Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Thursday alleged the Tamil Nadu government was not opting for the Centre-led power reforms initiatives and was only interested in protecting those pilfering electricity.

Referring to Uday scheme, a Centre-led power reforms initiative, he said if implemented, it would bring tremendous benefits to honest power consumers.

"But the Tamil Nadu government is not interested in benefitting honest electricity consumers, but dishonest who put unauthorised connections and steal electricity... The government is interested in protecting them," he said.

 Power politics: In run-up to Tamil Nadu polls, Javadekar launches attack on state govt over electricity

Claiming that Uday was appreciated by 90 per cent of the people in 18 states, he said it was not unfortunately signed by Tamil Nadu. "I hope one day Tamil Nadu will realise and sign it."

Days ago, his Cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal had targeted the state government over the same issue and claimed that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was "inaccessible".

Javadekar said the Uday scheme would ensure turnaround of discoms (power distribution companies) and bring them out of debt (as) "they will have less interest rates... 30 per cent less interest burden and there are many other benefits."

Citing another central scheme, UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All), he said he really failed to understand why Tamil Nadu had not taken up this scheme.

He said the scheme directly benefited people, reducing their power bills. It is a climate change initiative "but Tamil Nadu government is not interested in any of these".

Explaining how prices of LED bulbs had come down due to efforts like the scheme, he claimed that "nine crore people, households across country have benefitted" through cost effective LED lights and they are saving on energy bills.

He also blamed what he called "Tamil Nadu Government's attitude" on an environmental issue over the Kasturirangan report, vis-a-vis Western Ghats that came under his Ministry.

Of the six states along Western Ghats (Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu), only Tamil Nadu had not given its proposal and after continuous follow-up, they said they needed time till 16 May, he said.

"But we are following it up for one year. Kerala and other states gave their reports months ago. But Tamil Nadu did not submit," he said.

Javadekar said the BJP government was interested in good governance and does not discriminate against any government.

"We believe in cooperative federalism. If the state is not taking lead, people will suffer," he said.

Earlier, he chaired a meeting of top state BJP leaders where issues on the 16 May polls were discussed, including release of the remaining list of candidates.

Updated Date: Mar 31, 2016 16:05:20 IST