Lucknow: The ruling Samajwadi Party on Saturday defended its decision to enforce a hike in power tariffs in Uttar Pradesh saying that the state government had okayed the same after being left with no other options.
"With the demand for power increasing across the state and the government lacking resources, what else can be done other than (hiking the tariff)," SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary alleged that it was the previous Bahujan Samaj Party regime in the state which was responsible for the heavy burden on the present government as it had purchased power worth around Rs 25,000 crore on credit.
"Political parties which are (holding protests) on the power issue should be asked why they had kept mum (during the BSP regime)," he said.
Chaudhary said that the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) was being given an additional Rs 7,000 crore to purchase power from other states while steps were being take to start new electricity generation projects in the state.
The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission yesterday approved a new power tariff structure for the state that effects a significant hike for domestic, commercial and rural consumers while leaving industries untouched.
Opposition parties, meanwhile, have decided to fight tooth and nail the proposed hike with BJP workers today marching up to the state power corporation headquarters where they staged a demonstration.
During a meeting with UPPCL MD AP Mishra, state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai asked why domestic tariffs had been hiked by 26 per cent while the increase for government departments was a mere six per cent.
Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal has for its part said that it would stage a state-wide demonstration on June 6 to protest against the power tariff hike.
CPI, too, has joined in the chorus against the proposed hike and demanded that it be immediately revoked.