The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mira-Bhayandar unit is upping its ante against the Mahavikas Aghadi government after Energy Minister Nitin Raut expressed inability over waiver of inflated electricity bills. However, a consumer has sat upon an indefinite hunger strike by stitching his mouth outside the electricity office. Once again, this has ignited the Andolan against the Uddhav Thackeray’s government.
Party’s Mira Bhayandar unit chief Hemant Mhatre has organised a protest near Maharana Pratap Statue, Phatak Road in Bhayandar East. However, Mhatre himself was not present at the event due to health issue. The protest place was chosen a few metres away from the Adani Electricity office.
Along with Mayor Jyotsana Hasnale, Deputy Mayor Hasmukh Gehlot, hundreds of BJP workers participated in the protest. Former Mayor Dimple Mehta, Deputy Mayor Chandrakant Vaity, along with spokesperson Ranveer Bajpai and Leader of the House Prashant Dalvi lit a holi of electricity bills. Former Standing Committee chairman Adv Ravi Vyas and Women Wing head Vinita Bane raised the slogan against the MVA government. Mayor raised many questioned to Nitin Raut on the occasion and submitted a letter to Ankush Kamble, Additional Vice President of Adani Electricity.
Through the letter, she asked the company to withdraw additional charges applied to the consumers. She also warned to withdraw the interest applied for late payment and adjust in the next bill. “In the lockdown, despite of commercial unit were closed they received additional bills along with the fixed charges. The Adani Electricity has sent bills to the residential also without taking a reading of the meters on assumption basis,” said Mayor.
Like Mumbai counterpart where a brief scuffle broke out between BJP workers and police, here protest ended peacefully.
Protest goes haywire in Mumbai
In Mumbai, BJP’s Atul Bhatkalkar organised a similar protest. The police detained Bhatkalkar after which a brief scuffle broke out between BJP party workers and the Mumbai Police. Bhatkalkar has said that if the government doesn’t offer relief, he will take a morcha to Mantralaya. Nitin Raut responded to the dare saying if the bills found genuine, then BJP should pay them.
The Mahavikas Aghadi government had earlier promised a Diwali bonanza for power consumers promising to waive off inflated bills during the lockdown. However, a few days before the festival Nitin Raut announced it wouldn’t be possible because the power companies have cash strapped and they could not get any more loans.
BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis had questioned what he termed as a ‘betrayal’ of the people. Raut had then responded that the BJP government had put the power companies in severe deficit during their tenure. BJP has kickstarted its campaign for the 2022 BMC elections, this is a people’s issue to rally crowds with. The party has latched on it.