AAP dares BJP, Congress to reply to questions on discoms

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday dared the Congress party and the BJP to reply to a set of five questions each, alleging they have sided with power distribution companies in looting the people of the national capital.

“The hypocritical public statements of the Congress and the BJP on the reported findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the loot by private power distribution companies (discoms) in Delhi, further expose these two parties which are an equal partner in this crime,” AAP said in a statement.

The party said it was referring to a CAG report that reportedly stated that the power distribution companies inflated their dues to be recovered from consumers. The AAP had ordered a CAG audit on the companies when it first came to power in Delhi in 2013.

The questions the party posed to the Congress included: Whether two senior Congress leaders had appeared for two of the three companies in the Supreme Court seeking an electricity tariff hike. They also asked if Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented another company in the Delhi High Court opposing CAG audit, with a clear conflict of interest.

They queried why Congress party legislators and members failed to appear in a public hearing of the regulator on Aug 5 over petitions against the companies seeking an electricity tariff hike, when AAP members could do so.

AAP also wondered why the earlier Sheila Dikshit government did not order a CAG audit during its more than a decade in power after the privatisation of power distribution in Delhi.

With regard to the BJP, AAP questioned the remarks of federal Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Feb 1, saying the power distribution companies do not maintain records older than eight years. The AAP said it was a bid to ridicule the CAG audit ordered by the Arvind Kejriwal government in January last year.

It also asked what the BJP did to ensure a CAG audit during the one year of President’s Rule in the national capital. It also sought to know the BJP’s stand on the CAG informing the Delhi High Court in July last year that the companies were un-cooperative and not providing records.

In a similar vein, they wanted the BJP to explain why in July 2014, the CAG had to write to the Lt. Governor of Delhi, complaining about such non-cooperation and the role of three top government officials, in this regard, during President’s Rule.

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