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AAP Under Fire For Delhi’s Plea To Close Punjab Plants Amid Power Crisis

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AAP Under Fire For Delhi's Plea To Close Punjab Plants Amid Power Crisis

Power crisis has become a big political flashpoint in Punjab. (FILE)

Chandigarh:

Weeks after Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal promised free power to Punjab if elected to power, his state party unit finds itself in a fix over a plea filed by the Delhi government in the Supreme Court, seeking the closure of ten thermal power plants in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana until they install Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) technology.

The now withdrawn plea alleged the plants significantly pollute the air of the national capital and sought the quashing of an order passed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in October last year and to set aside that extended the deadline for installing FGD.

This came at a time when Punjab is facing acute power crisis and rival parties are now accusing Arvind Kejriwal of working against the interest of the state.

Power crisis has become a big political flashpoint in the state with every political party blaming each other for the failure.

Akali Dal spokesman Dr Daljit Cheema said that the Delhi government’s plea to close down Punjab’s power plant is a “classic case of Kejriwal’s doublespeak. “He has dual stand when it comes to river water sharing, or on implementing farm laws, and now he is trying to inflict financial damage on industry and trade of Punjab by demanding the closure of power plants here. That too, when the state is already reeling under a power crisis,” said Dr Cheema while asking whether AAP’s state unit was taken into confidence before filing the PIL.

Reacting to the allegations being leveled by the opposition parties Congress and Akali Dal on the Aam Aadmi Party regarding thermal plants of Punjab, senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, however, termed it “politically motivated”. “The Delhi government had not made any such appeal in the court,” came an outright denial from him. He said that the Akali Dal had sold the interests of the people of Punjab to the private companies, by making faulty power agreements. “Due to his collusion with the Badals, Captain Amarinder Singh never took any action regarding wrong power agreements reached during the Badal government,” he asserted.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said the power purchase agreements signed during the earlier Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP regime are under review and the government will soon announce its legal strategy to counter the agreements. AAP has been attacking the Congress-led state government for not reviewing the PPAs signed by Akali Dal thereby hinting a “close alliance” between the political parties.