Vikash Sharma

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday drubbed the manifesto of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as fake and demanded clarity on the ruling party’s claim to provide free electricity.

At a presser, senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty today alleged that the BJD through its advertisements earlier announced to provide free electricity, but now it is saying to provide 100 units free.

“During elections, the BJD is misleading the people of Odisha through its manifesto. The party should clearly highlight how many units will be provided free to the consumers. The ruling party has neglected the interests of the consumers in the state,” said Mohanty.

Odisha has coal and power plants, but power is being provided to Chennai at lower rates while the consumers are bearing the brunt and paying more. Mohanty further said that the BJP in its manifesto pledged to provide free electricity to consumers under PM Suryaghar. After ruling for 25 years, the BJD recently announced its manifesto and claimed that the consumers will get free electricity, he said.

“Electricity is a catalyst for economic development and there is no clarity and the BJD is trying to mislead the people again during the election time. The imported bureaucrat turned politician is making a lot of claims. We want to ask the BJD not to mislead people. Around 1 crore families are electricity consumers in the state and the BJD should clarify how many families will get free electricity,” asked Mohanty.

Mohanty asked the BJD to release data on households using 50 units, 50 to 100 units and 100 units to 150 units and above. If there are approximately 1 to 1.5 lakh people whose electricity consumption is within 50 units and if 100 units are provided free, their electricity bill will certainly go up during summer. At present, the people in the state are paying 90 paise per unit more than the national average. There are 27 states which are providing 200 units of free electricity or other subsidies.

“Odisha is one such state in the country where the consumers have been overlooked. The state claims to have undertaken electricity reforms since 1995. Electricity is provided to Tamil Nadu at a much lower rate than what is being charged from the consumers here. After neglecting Odisha consumers, the BJD issued an advertisement to provide electricity free and subsequently claimed to provide 100 units free. Like other schemes, the BJD has tried to mislead people through free electricity announcements in its manifesto. The BJD should issue a clarification in this regard at the earliest,” Mohanty added.

In his address in Rourkela, BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik targeted the opposition and said, “There will be no electricity bill from July and the BJD government will provide free electricity. The opposition is telling lies and shedding crocodile tears.”

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