Chandigarh, January 15 – The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab, has demanded to adopt a resolution in the ensuing Assembly session to scrap the one-sided and anti-state private power agreements (PPAs) inked by the erstwhile Badal-led government so that the people reeling under the high power tariff in the state could heave a sigh of relief.
A delegation of party led by leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, Aman Arora and senior leaders and MLAs of the party, on Wednesday met speaker Rana KP Singh and sought permission to move the private member bill ‘The Punjab Termination of Power Purchase Agreements with 3 IPPs Act, 2020’ in the coming Assembly session.
In view of the high rate of electricity in the state, the delegation also submitted a ‘Call Attention Motion’ to the speaker seeking termination of the PPAs. Others who were present on the occasion included Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Kuwant Singh Pandori, Jai Krishan Singh Rouri, Manjit Singh Bilaspur (All MLAs), core committee member and state media head Manjit Singh Sidhu, party spokesman advocate Satbir Singh Walia and Prabhjot Kaur.
Addressing media persons later, Harpal Singh Cheema informed that after going through the nitty-gritty of the PPAs, under the supervision of Aman Arora, the private member bill seeking cancellation of power agreements, was also submitted to the speaker, seeking permission to present it on the floor of the House on January 16 and 17, 2020. Taking a pot shot at Sukhbir Singh Badal, Harpal Singh Cheema and Aman Arora said the meeting of the Akalis with the governor ovehigh power tariff under the leadership of Sukhbir Singh Badal was a mere ploy to earn some political brownie points.
On the occasion Aman Arora said that the Captain Amarinder Singh government had promised to the people of Punjab to scrap the anti-state PPAs immediately after coming to power, lamenting that nothing had come out of the discourse three years after it took reins of the state. Arora said that until or unless the anti-people agreements were tweaked, people would continue to groan under the heavy power tariff, saying if it could terminate the pacts on water sharing and BSL company running ‘sewa kendras in the state’ why it couldn’t scrap PPAs.
The AAP MLA said that due to these agreements, the state would have to cough up a whopping sum of Rs 70 thousand crores even if these private thermal plants did not produce a single unit of power, posing a million-dollar question to the government in the saddle “Why should people pay from their pockets for the wrongdoings of the subsequent governments, who have failed to take a call on the enormity of the situation?”. Arora said the party perspective of the ruling Congress, the SAD (Badal) and BJP MLAs and the who’s who of other political parties whether they support the private member bill to scrap the PPAs or support the government-sponsored power mafia.
He said that if the Captain Aamrinder Singh government ran away from scrapping the PPAs, the AAP, if voted to power in the 2022 assembly elections, would nix the power pacts with private players to prove cheaper electricity to consumers in the state.