Have written to various CMs to stand against amendments proposed to Electricity Act: Arvind Kejriwal

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said he has written to his counterparts of different states seeking support to stall the proposed amendments by the BJP-led central government to the Electricity Act, 2003 in the Rajya Sabha. Addressing a public rally in northwest Delhis Rohini, Kejriwal said that he will travel to different states from next week to meet respective chief ministers and convince them to stand together to stall the bill so that it is not passed before the Lok Sabha elections. I have written to chief ministers of different states on the dangers of the proposed amendment and how it will break the back of the common man. I have urged them to stand against the proposed amendments, he said. Kejriwal said he would meet several chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), N Chandra Babu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala) and HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka), for consensus against the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act. The AAP national conveners move comes at a time when the Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to be held next year. It is also seen to unite opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Aam Aadmi Party is gearing up for the general elections. He alleged that the Modi government is going to introduce the amendment in the Winter Session of Parliament which will break the back of the common man as the power tariffs would be unaffordable after it is passed. According to the Delhi chief minister, the proposed amendment aims at phasing out the cross subsidy, which will mean that power tariffs of the common man will be the same as of the commercial and industrial units. This would lead to huge increase in tariffs across the country immediately for small and medium domestic consumers as well as farmers, who account for nearly 90 per cent of all consumers, a statement quoted Kejriwal as saying at the public rally. He said that Delhi citizens, who use up to 200 units, are currently charged Rs 1 per unit, while those using up to 400 units are charged Rs 2.50 per unit. Kejriwal claimed that once the proposed amendment is done, both the categories will have to pay Rs 7.50 per unit, adding that this would hit hard around 90 per cent of all consumers in Delhi. Last week, Kejriwal had said the amendments proposed by it to the Electricity Act, 2003 were very dangerous and aimed at benefitting a few power companies at the cost of the poor people and farmers of the country.