New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal Saturday began an indefinite hunger strike to protest increased power and water bills in Delhi. The BJP too held a separate protest on the issue.
"In order to take the fear out of the minds and hearts of the people and to unite them, I`m sitting on an indefinite fast. This time, we are not demanding anything from the government. My appeal is directly to the people of Delhi," Kejriwal said in a statement.
He said he would stop paying his electricity and water bills and asked others to also do the same.
"Let`s all unite...Don`t be scared," he said.
Kejriwal began his fast in the morning at a house in Sunder Nagri in east Delhi. He said the house owner had to borrow money to pay his water and electric bills.
He said if most of the people stopped paying the bills, no government would have the courage to disconnect anyone`s power supply.
According to Yogendra Yadav, an associate of Kejriwal, the fast sought to "recover the legacy of India`s national movement".
"Though Arvind`s health is a matter of concern for us, as a political move, we unanimously agreed he should go ahead (with the fast)," Yadav said.
Kejriwal told reporters Friday that the time had come to motivate people against the "illegal rise" in taxes.
AAP members will also protest in 264 wards across te city and launch door-to-door campaign, asking people not to pay bills according to the increased tariff.
Kejriwal alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had colluded with power and water companies and illegally increased the tariff.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too protested against "bloated" electricity and water bills outside Dikshit`s official residence.
Holding party flags and placards, the BJP workers raised slogans against the chief minister and the power and water department.
"The government is looting the common man with bloated power and water bills. We will continue our protests," BJP leader Vijender Gupta told IANS.