Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha on Tuesday took a jibe at Goa's Power Minister Nilesh Cabral, saying he has "chickened out" of a proposed public debate on power tariff models in Delhi and Goa.
After Cabral challenged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's model of electricity, AAP's Raghav Chadha had, earlier this day, boarded a flight to Goa, looking forward to a "healthy debate" on 'Kejriwal's Electricity Model' Vs 'BJP's Electricity Model'.
"I hope Goa Power Minister will not withdraw his public debate challenge, despite his party high command's displeasure," Chadha had said, after taking up the minister's dare.
Chadha arrived at the coastal state today, hoping that Cabral would let him know the time and venue for the debate.
"I really hope and wish, he will come and participate in the debate," Chadha told news agency ANI.
However, after Cabral's comments to the media on Monday that he would only debate with the Delhi Power Minister, Chadha took a potshot at Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
"These are nothing but excuses. He is an MLA, I am an MLA. He is elected by the people, I am elected by the people. He works in the Goa government. I work in the Delhi government..."
"A healthy debate should happen. He says 'there are some protocol issues'. Tomorrow, he will say 'because of protocol, I will not debate with someone who is wearing a blue shirt'. Then he will say 'because of protocol, I will not debate with someone who is younger to me'," the AAP leader told reporters after landing at the Goa airport.
Chadha, who is the Vice-Chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, has been engaged in a social media battle with Cabral for a public debate to prove the merits of the Goa electricity model over that in Delhi.
"I accepted the challenge. I said that as part of the Delhi government and as an MLA, I am coming to Goa for a debate with him. Now, he is running away from this debate, chickening out. He is shying away," Chadha claimed.
"I am given to understand that the BJP high command has reprimanded the Goa leadership and scolded the Goa Chief Minister and asked him not to indulge in such public debate. Now, imagine a Chief Minister who cannot even participate in a simple debate or let his Minister participate in such activity without BJP high command's permission. Can he govern Goa?" the AAP leader remarked.
Cabral last week told a press conference that Goa's power tariffs were cheaper compared to Delhi and said he was willing for a debate on the matter.
Cabral maintained that the Delhi government was "fleecing its residents through convoluted power tariffs", while the Goa government offered one of the cheapest power rates to domestic consumers in the country.
(With agency inputs)