AAP protests over electricity rates, police use water cannons

Chandigarh:  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held a massive protest outside Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s home in Chandigarh today over electricity rates in the state. Hundreds of party workers participated in the protest. The police used water cannons on the workers.

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann led the protest outside Amarinder Singh’s home. The show of strength by the AAP, which is in main opposition party in Punjab, comes after protests by the Shiromani Akali Dal against the Congress government over the issue of power tariff.

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“MP Bhagwant Mann, who was leading the AAP protest against the Punjab government has been detained” police said.

Police used water cannons to stop party leaders including MP Bhagwant Mann, MLAs Harpal Singh Cheema, Kultar Singh Sandhwan and workers from moving towards the residence of the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. As part of the protest, the Aam Aadmi Party had planned to ‘gherao’ the official residence of Amarinder.

The AAP members, who wanted to meet Amarinder Singh to submit a memorandum against the power hike, were stopped from getting any closer to Chief Minister’s home. Chandigarh Police had already barricaded the road with deployment of a huge force leading to the Chief Minister’s residence.

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Punjab’s electricity board increased the power prices by  2.14 per cent for 2019-20 in May last year despite the the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited seeking a hike between eight to 14 per cent. 

Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, which is eyeing a second term in Delhi, with its promise of cheap power bills, water, health and education.

In August last year, Mr Kejriwal had announced that people of Delhi will not be billed if they use no more than 200 units of electricity a month. It costs he government Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,000 crore annually on power subsidy, the Chief Minister had said.

Since AAP came to power in February 2015, the Delhi government has been providing 50 per cent subsidy on power bills, making good on one of its main campaign promises.

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