Punjab power crisis: AAP workers protest outside CM Amarinder Singh's farmhouse, police use water cannons to disperse crowd

The Aam Aadmi Party workers on Saturday clashed with the police outside Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's 'Siswan Farm House in view of power crisis in the state. To stop the AAP protestors and workers, police used water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Hours before the protest, security was tightened outside CM's Siswan Farmhouse ahead of the planned demonstration by AAP workers. As the protest turned strong, police used water cannons to disperse the agitators.

The protest comes in the wake days after the Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal promised free electricity up to 300 units and round the clock power supply in Punjab if AAP wins the assembly elections next year.

Punjab is reeling from an acute electricity shortage which has reportedly led to 14-hour-long outages in some parts of the state. According to a report, last week, the state's power demand peaked to 14,142 MW against the supply of 12,842 MW, leaving a gap of 1,300 MW, an official of the state-owned power utility PSPCL.

Along with the power ourage, heatwave brought on by a delayed monsoon has adversely impacts the livelihood of the state's sizeable farming population.

While, farmers, including the AAP's kisan wing, have been holding protests over many issues, from the increasing rate of fuel to the housr long power cuts across Punjab.

Meanwhile, in a twist, a day after Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu offered a solution to the unprecedented power crisis in the state, reports of him allegedly owing over Rs 8.67 lakh in pending bills for eight months to the state power utility have come to light.

"I'm not aware of the issue. Sub Divisional Officers must have known. No special relaxation was given to him. We will investigate the issue," said Chief Engineer, Power Department, Amritsar.

On Friday, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also held statewide protests before PSPCL offices in Punjab to highlight the plight of farmers, domestic consumers and industrialists who are suffering because the Congress government "deliberately" withheld eight-hour free supply to farmers besides imposing unscheduled power cuts in urban areas.

The SAD demanded a financial package for paddy farmers who were forced to use diesel generators, besides demanding an immediate reduction in VAT on diesel.

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Free Press Journal