Oppn snaps at Siddu as power trips during budget speech

Oppn snaps at Siddu as power trips during budget speech

Oppn snaps at Siddu as power trips during budget speech

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had to face the ordeal of the common man - power cut in peak summer. He had to face embarrassment when the Assembly hall plunged into darkness twice during the budget speech.

The first interruption was brief, while the second one lasted for nearly three minutes.

Power consumers in both urban and rural areas are putting up with no power, intermittent power supply, unscheduled load-shedding and substandard supply for hours. But when Siddaramaiah faced three minutes of darkness in the secretariat, which always gets high-quality continuous power, the government immediately ordered an enquiry to find out who were responsible.

Probe ordered

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar constituted a committee comprising Bengaluru Metropolitan Area Zone chief engineer Uday Kumar and Chief Electrical Inspectorate Basavaraj to probe the lapses.

There were rumours that three to four engineers were suspended, but there was no confirmation. Shivakumar had recently got one man from Bellare of Sullia in Dakshina Kannada district arrested for calling him up to express his anger over frequent power cuts.

While Bescom supplies power to the secretariat, management of power lines rests with PWD’s electrical division. There are two expressways of power supply and generators to Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, MS Building and VV Tower. At no point, there is total power snap to this cluster of buildings. As the power went off for the second time, he stopped reading.

‘Rahukala effect’

“You should not have started your speech during Rahukala (considered an inauspicious period),” went one comment in the dark.

One officer in the officials’ gallery handed out his mobile phone, switching on the torch, to one of the watch and ward staff, who held it on the budget document, so that the chief minister could continue reading.

Siddaramaiah did not continue as the mikes were not working. Remarks from the opposition continued. “It is an indication of what is going to happen in the government,” said Govind Karjol of the BJP.

“Bring in the candles,” said Basavaraj Bommai, another BJP member. Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar told the chief minister, “Do not look at us. Ask D K Shivakumar, who is sitting here”. Siddaramaiah responded first by looking at the officials’ gallery and asking “What is happening”.

He then told the members, “It is a technical fault. This has nothing to do with any kala (time)”. Much to the relief of Siddaramaiah, the lights came back and he continued.

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