New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal Sunday said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit agreeing to accept 10,50,000 letters written to her by Delhi residents over inflated water and power bills is “people’s victory”.
Kejriwal vowed that the movement against the inflated bills would continue until the tariffs are brought down and alleged that both the Congress and the BJP have together cartelised the water and electricity sector in the state.
“At 9 a.m. one of my associates, Dilip Pandey got a call from the chief minister’s office saying Sheila Dikshit wanted to talk. Dikshit said she will receive the protest letters. She was compelled to do because of the people’s pressure. She had to bow down to the people,” said Kejriwal, while addressing a gathering at Jantar Mantar.
“This is people’s victory. Our 12 associates will hand over the protest letters to the chief minister (some time Sunday). Till then, we will stay put at Jantar Mantar,” he said.
Kejriwal said the movement against inflated water and electricity will continue till the bills are either wavered or the prices are not reduced.
“Our aim is not just to submit these (over) 10 lakh letters, but we are seeking action on them. Our protest is unlike that of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vijay Goel who simply protests for limelight. We have said we won’t pay our bills and this movement will continue till these bills are not reduced,” he asserted.
The former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer said the Congress government, both at the centre and in the state had failed to address the issue of water crisis in the national capital.
“Every year, the prime minister says that we will provide water to every household in this country. They have not been able to provide water to Delhi in the past 65 years, How will the provide water to the entire country,” he asked.
“Sheila Dikshit has been in power for the past 15 years, why has not the issue been addressed,” he asked.
Most of the water tanker companies are owned by leaders of these two parties, and the government was hand in glove with the power discoms, he said.
Kejriwal said that if the Aam Admi Party comes to power in Delhi, its government would audit the sectors and ensure that the issues confronting the people are addressed.
Earlier, the party said its protest at Jantar Mantar will continue, even as Dikshit agreed to accept the 10,50,000 letters written to her by Delhi residents over inflated water and power bills.
“We will restrict our protest at Jantar Mantar and will not take out a rally up to the chief minister’s residence, as she has agreed to meet a few AAP representatives at around 1 p.m. today (Sunday),” Manish Sisodia, a senior AAP member told IANS.
The party will be sending a few representatives to the chief minister’s residence Sunday to hand over the letters.
Arvind Kejriwal had appealed to the people to assemble in large numbers at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi to protest against the issues.
“We have already assembled at Jantar Mantar. Public rally is on. Please do reach Jantar Mantar,” Arvind Kejriwal said on twitter.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Traffic Police announced restrictions in and around Jantar Mantar.
“The Janpath Road from Tolstoy Marg and Sansad Marg which leads towards Jantar Mantar will remain blocked due to the (AAP) demonstration,” a Delhi Traffic Police official said.
Earlier this month, Kejriwal fasted for 15 days to press his demand for reduction in water and electricity tariffs in the capital.
Earlier AAP spokesperson Aswathi Muralidharan said: “We were planning to hold a protest march from Jantar Mantar to the chief minister’s residence. But she called up one of the AAP representative today (Sunday) morning and agreed to accept 10,50,000 letters written to her by the people of Delhi highlighting the inflated bills.”