Congress adopts AAP’s bijli-pani manual: Don’t pay water bills


aap2Taking inspiration from Aam Aadmi Party’s pool of campaign ideas, the Delhi Congress has urged people not to pay “inflated water bills they have been getting”. The call came Sunday from their rally in West Delhi, led by former MP Sajjan Kumar and party spokesman Mukesh Sharma.

The Congress had criticised AAP for such ‘disruptive’ practices two years ago when the debutants had demanded similar non-payment with regard to power bills. In 2012, Kejriwal had launched the ‘bijli-pani satyagraha’ at Tigri Colony against “inflated” power and water bills and hike in tariffs by restoring electricity connection to the household of a labourer who had failed to pay his bills.

The Delhi Congress, now out of power and looking to regain some ground before Delhi polls, went to the “aid” of people residing in unauthorised colonies at the Budh Bazaar Road in Mohan Garden in West Delhi.

Kumar and Sharma also alleged that the BJP was forcing those living in unauthorised and resettlement colonies to “increase their load capacity, thereby collecting Rs 1,000 crore in an illegal manner”. They alleged this was a scam being run by the BJP in league with power companies”.

A similar allegation regarding the former Congress government’s “protection” of power companies was made by Kerjiwal in the run up to the 2013 Assembly elections.

Sharma alleged that the “steep increase in the water bills” has led to poor people borrowing money for water and said people shouldn’t pay the bills. “If your water is disconnected, the Congress will come and protest in the streets.”

Kumar opened a broader topic. “Much work was carried out in the unauthorised colonies during the Congress rule. Uttam Nagar was the first Assembly segment where work had begun to lay a 237-metre sewer in one go. During the past 11 months, the local BJP MLA could not complete the remaining works in the project,” he said.