Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today denied that the Congress is shying away from cracking whip on its rebel MLAs who voted against his government during the recent no-confidence motion in the state Assembly, for fear of facing by-elections.
"We are not only ready to face the by-elections, but will also win the 2014 elections," he said in an informal chat with reporters here this afternoon.
Referring to suggestions that the Congress will delay disciplinary action against nine of its rebel MLAs to avert by-elections, he maintained that his party will take appropriate action.
Replying to a question, he said that he was "applying a lot of pressure" on the Centre for supply of natural gas to power generating stations, to tide over the grave electricity crisis gripping the state.
"We spend an additional Rs 300 crore every month to purchase power from outside sources. I have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily requesting the Centre to review its gas allocation policy, so as to allot fuel on a pro rata basis from the D6 wells in the Krishna-Godavari basin to power generating stations. We are applying a lot of pressure," he said.
"The state government will announce a "new policy" related to the power sector tomorrow, he said.
However, he declined to offer financial relief to power consumers in the state and asserted that they will have to bear the additional burden in the form of fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA), since the government purchased power at Rs 12 per unit.
A group of ministers will analyse the FSA`s impact, based on which a decision will be taken, he said.
He also ruled out granting permission to the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) to organise a 12-hour `sadak bandh` road blockade of the Hyderabad-Bengaluru National Highway tomorrow.
"There are Supreme Court judgements, which prevent the government from taking a lenient view on such agitations. The police will do its duty in this regard," he said.
Earlier, legislators from the Telangana region met the Chief Minister and requested him to permit the road blockade and stop arresting TJAC leaders.