Navjot Singh Sidhu: No need for power cuts in Punjab or for CM to regulate office timings | India News

NEW DELHI: Disgruntled Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday took to Twitter to offer advice to the Amarinder Singh government to deal with the current power crisis in Punjab.
“Truth of power costs, cuts, power purchase agreements and how to give free and 24-hour power to people of Punjab. There’s no need for power-cuts in Punjab or for CM to regulate office timings or AC use of common people…If we act in the right direction,” Sidhu said in his first of nine tweets.

14-hour power outage
Punjab, reeling under unprecedented power shortage amid an intense heatwave, is facing unbearably long electricity outages as the demand reached a high of 14,500 MW on Thursday, resulting in a shortfall of 1,330 MW in supply.
There have been long cuts in electricity supply across the state since the last couple of days. Many areas in Mohali faced cuts of over 14 hours since the last 24 hours, Patiala and Bathinda had power outages of up to seven hours and parts of Kapurthala, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Muktsar and Ludhiana had between six and 12 hours of cuts. For over a week, the electricity supply to the state’s rural areas has been restricted and farmers are among the worst hit during the paddy transplantation season.
Under fire for not making adequate arrangements for the peak power consumption season, the Amarinder government pressed the panic button on Thursday and restricted electricity to industry and changed working hours in government offices to 8am to 2pm.
9 tweets
“Punjab is buying power at average cost of Rs. 4.54 per unit, national average is Rs. 3.85 per unit and Chandigarh is paying Rs. 3.44 per unit. Punjab’s over-dependence on 3 private thermal plants at Rs. 5-8 per unit makes Punjab pay more than other states,” Sidhu said in another tweet.

Sidhu vs Captain
The cricketer-turned-politician had resigned from the Punjab cabinet in July 2019 due to his differences with CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
The rift in the Congress’s Punjab unit has intensified in last few months. While Sidhu met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday, the party’s top leadership did not meet the Punjab chief minister who was in Delhi recently for three days.
According to the sources, the meeting between Sidhu and Rahul which lasted for over 45 minutes can be seen as a “meeting of reconciliation” in the Punjab Congress.

Punjab assembly elections, scheduled for next year, are crucial for Congress as it is one of the few states where the party is still in power.
In 2017 assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years. Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in the 117-member Punjab legislative assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.
(With inputs from agencies)



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