DMK slams power tariff revision

Chennai: Slamming the power tariff hike in Tamil Nadu, DMK president M Karunanidhi today described it as "unbearable," and sarcastically remarked that it was a "reward" to voters of Sankarankoil (SC) segment who returned AIADMK candidate in the March 18 bypoll with a huge margin.

"This seems to be the first reward the government has given to the people of Sankarankoil who are said to have ensured that the opposition lost deposit," he said in a statement, reacting to the hike announced on Friday.

The DMK patriarch recalled that Jayalalithaa government had also revised power tariff in 2003, even withdrawing free power being supplied to farmers and huts. He said power tariff was also hiked during the previous DMK regime, but only to the tune of garnering Rs 1651 crore as against the Tamil Nadu Energy Regulatory Authority Commission proposal on Friday to mop up Rs 7874 crore.

Of the about 150 lakh domestic consumers,power tariff revision during his government`s tenure was confined to only around 16 lakh, he said, adding, Jayalalithaa, as Opposition Leader then, had even demanded rollback of that hike, saying it will have a cascading effect and affect many sections. "Will the middle-class bear the hike in this golden rule of the AIADMK which has already hiked milk prices and bus fare," he asked sarcastically.

MDMK and PMK also slammed the revision, with the latter planning to move the Central Electricity Authority against the hike. PMK founder S Ramadoss also announced staging state-wide protests on April 4 demanding rollback.