‘Politics’ says Nirmal Singh on power crisis
Jammu: A discussion over power crisis in the assembly on Friday intensified when Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh dropped a bombshell acknowledging politics in distribution of power.
The lower house witnessed massive protests by opposition MLAs including NC and Congress, who later staged walk-out as well, accusing the government for step-motherly treatment with Kashmir valley over distribution of power during winters.
The issue came up when National Conference Budgam MLA, Agha Ruhulla, sought attention of government over “worst power scenario first time in Valley in last 4-5 years”.
Ruhulla lambasted the government for failing to implement the government of India funded schemes.
“There is no electricity in valley and the current situation is worst in last 4-5 years,” the NC MLA said.
Asking Singh, who is also power minister, to personally visit Valley and check how many transformers were damaged, he said.
“Government is not giving required power supply to Valley; gas turbines have not been started as it is a requirement currently.”
Other NC and Congress MLAs seconded Ruhulla and pressed Singh for an answer to which he responded.
“There is politics in (distribution of) power,” Singh said, giving a shock to the legislators.
“In summer, Jammu faces the same situation as it is now in Valley,” he told the house. “We are giving 50 MW more electricity to Kashmir valley.”
The shocking disclosure enraged the NC and Congress MLAs who stood up from their seats and sought clarification from the power minister.
NC’s Abdul Majeed Larmi, Altaf Kaloo and Ishfaq Jabbar walked in to the well asking speaker to direct the power minister to explain the statement. “What is this politics; log sardi say mar rahay hain.”
The opposition members led by Ali Mohammad Sagar walked towards the well of the house and amid “PDP-BJP sarkar mein – Andhera hi Andhera hai” slogans walked out of the house in protest. “Bijli do, bijlo do – Kashmir ko bijli do,” raised the slogan by Congress’ Mohammad Amin Bhat.
“Log sisak rahay hain; aap Kashmiryun ko kya saza day rahain hai,” Sagar asked the government.
The opposition walked-out at 10:58 am, two minutes before question hour finished.
Earlier, PDP MLA fro0m Sonwar, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, had asked government to take serious note of power crisis and damaged transformers in Valley.
“In Srinagar, damaged transformers are lying and no work is going,” Mir told the house. “There is a need that extra transformers be reserved so that people are able to wash face and clothes in such a cold winter.”
Ruhulla had asked Singh, the power minister, about a receiving station in Ichgam area of his assembly segment tenders of which were floated and subsequently cancelled. The government cited litigation against it in J&K High Court.
“What steps have government taken to get that stay vacated,” the MLA Budgam asked the power minister. “There is no headway as is shown by your documents.”