New Delhi: With BJP announcing agitation against power tariff hike, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said Delhi has the "lowest" electricity rates compared to other cities in the country and accused the opposition of trying to mislead people on the issue for political gain.
"The power tariffs in Delhi are lowest in comparison to towns of the neighbouring states and other metro cities.
"Even the electricity charges here are lower than in states ruled by other parties," Dikshit said addressing a function.
The Chief Minister`s comments came in the wake of BJP launching an agitation today against the power tariff hike while indicating that the party will make it a major issue in the run up to the assembly elections slated for November.
The party held candle march across the city including near Dikshit`s residence demanding a roll back of the tariff hike.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Friday had hiked the tariff for domestic consumers by five per cent.
But with the regulator merging the fuel surcharge with the hiked component and Dikshit swiftly announcing a subsidy for those limiting their monthly consumption to 400 units, the tariff will in effect come down marginally for low-end consumers.
"Our government has always been sensitive to the issues related to the poor and middle class families. That is why we immediately decided to offer subsidy after the DERC announced the hike.
"We have neutralised and nullified the hike in respect of the poor and middle class families by granting enhanced subsidy and introducing fresh subsidy," Dikshit said.
The per unit rate in Delhi for consumption up to 200 units is currently is Rs 2.70 against Rs 4. 75 in Ghaziabad and Noida and Rs 4.90 in Gurgaon.
It is Rs 4.70 in Mumbai and Rs 6.40 in Kolkata, Dikshit said.
Accusing the BJP of trying to mislead people for political gains, Dikshit said people know their intent and would not believe what the opposition party was saying.
The BJP has already announced that the tariff will be slashed by 30 per cent if it comes to power in the assembly elections slated to be held in November.
Without naming the Aam Admi Party, Dikshit also took a dig at it for asking people not to pay bills. "The principal opposition party is misleading people by promising reduction in the rates by 30 percent whereas a new party has been telling consumers not to make payment of power bills.
"It has also asked people to restore disconnected connections due to non payment of bills. Both these parties are not only misleading people but are all out to create chaos," the chief minister said.
The BJP has also announced holding of a massive rally to protest tariff hike at Ramlila Ground on August 11.
The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by five per cent hike in February last year.
The tariff was hiked by up to two per cent in May last year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July last year. The tariff was hiked by up to three per cent in February.