Load-shedding: BJP, govt lock horns

Load-shedding: BJP, govt lock horns

The BJP’s executive committee on Sunday asked the Yeddyurappa government to rescind the order and ensure quality and uninterrupted power supply to consumers.

“The party is of the opinion that load-shedding should not be imposed. The executive committee asked the government to ensure uninterrupted power to both urban and rural areas either by procuring from the Centre or by purchasing from outside,” party spokesperson C T Ravi told reporters after the executive committee meeting.

It is learnt that Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is likely to hold a meeting with Energy Minister K S Eshwarappa and top Energy Department officials on Monday to take a view on the State BJP’s demand as well as on the government’s decision on imposing regulated load-shedding.

The executive committee is also believed to have taken exception to Eshwarappa’s reported statement that the government was not in a position to purchase power at this juncture.

Interestingly, Yeddyurappa, instead of defending his senior cabinet colleague, is understood to have endorsed the party’s stand. The CM, who also holds the Finance portfolio, assured the executive committee that his government will supply power at any cost.

Open war

The CM’s stand on the issue at the BJP meet is seen in party circles as an effort to isolate Eshwarappa. It is no secret that both leaders differ on several issues and their relationship has not been amiable.

Recently, the Energy Minister openly hit out at the CM for fielding his son B Y Raghavendra as a Lok Sabha candidate from Shimoga. It is said that the CM and the Minister do not see eye-to-eye on implementation of certain power projects.

“The executive committee was of the opinion that Eshwarappa created confusion by stating that the government cannot purchase power. The government cannot say there is no money.

“It should make proper arrangements, buy power and ensure uninterrupted supply to people,” BJP spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said.

The executive committee is learnt to have asked the government to do away with the free power scheme to farmers, and supply quality power to those willing to pay for it.
“Farmers are actually willing to pay for quality power. So, the executive committee suggested the government to supply quality power and charge for the same,” Ravi said. He, however, added that the party asked the government to continue with the free power scheme to small and marginal farmers.

Most leaders at the meeting, sources said, held the view that the free power scheme had put the party in an embarrassing situation with the government announcing 14-hour load-shedding in rural areas.

This apart, the committee passed eight political and four economic resolutions. A presentation by Prof V Nagaraj explained how the factors behind the rise and fall of the Vijayanagar empire. The government is gearing up to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the coronation of Sri Krishnadevaraya.

Yeddyurappa’s meeting on Monday with Eshwarappa and Power Ministry officials will deliberate on the quantum of power to be procured. Speaking to the media in Shimoga, Eshwarappa said that considering the problems the farmers will face due to the 14-hour load-shedding in rural areas, the government was contemplating procuring additional power.