Was Arvind Kejriwal’s power fast only a political gimmick?

Fortnight long fast by Arvind Kejriwal, who spearheads the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) party, against inflated power bills in Delhi failed to attract too many eyeballs but managed to raised questions about the motives.

One of them was that whether the Gandhian protest by Kejriwal was justified or whether it was a mere gimmick before the upcoming Parliamentary elections as it is electricity is one of the most volatile issues in the country and majority of the states lack adequate supply.Arvind Kejriwal

Where Arvind Kejriwal argues that resident of Delhi are charged overblown electricity bills and Delhi government bullies Delhi Electricity Regulation Commission (DERC) to maintain a status quo, the facts otherwise are conflicting.

Power is distributed in Delhi through Tata Power Delhi Distribution, BSES Yamuna Power and BSES Rajdhani Power.

Kejriwal holds that power distributors make enormous profits but misrepresent their balance sheets in order to explain losses and retain their licenses. He maintains that DERC, though a self-regulating body, is pressurized by Delhi government to bowing to the demands of the distributor companies.

He blames the Delhi government for preventing DERC from passing a tariff order in 2010 that had recommended 23 % cutback in the tariff.

Conversely, it is here where Kejriwal loses out. The tariff order he is referring too was not signed by all the members of the DERC and doesn’t qualify to be an order by any means.

Even the honorable High Court of Delhi had struck down the tariff order in it judgment to a public interest litigation by one Nand Lal Garg.

Regarding high tariffs; since 2012, power rates in Delhi have risen 21%, which are much lower than Tamil Nadu’s 37%, Kerala’s 30%, Mumbai’s 28% and Kolkata’s 24% despite high increase in coal prices.

Delhi has lower power tariff compared to neighboring states and distribution companies don’t access any subsidy from the state government whatsoever.

Almost 70% of the electricity supplied to Delhi is generated from coal and the generation plants in India are already facing coal shortage. The costs have been revised in Indonesia considerably.

Significant amount of power is procured from central and state government owned NTPC, NHPC and Delhi’s based generation companies which are purchasing coal at higher rates. Therefore, power generation has become much costlier and power discoms have to shell out more money presently than ever before.

Additionally, tariffs of the generating units are determined by self-directed regulators and any increase in power price would reflect in distribution cost too.

The slum dwellers in particular seldom pay bills on time and on receiving inflated bills (due to cumulative effect) default and create such issues.

Nevertheless, it is also a reality that some of the complainants received overblown bills despite being regular payees due to the slip-ups in billing mechanism of one of the discoms in some areas in Delhi. Therefore, the service provider should also be penalized and not protected at any cost but discouraging people from paying bills is totally appalling.

Undoubtedly, the state of power supply has improved manifold (unlike the days when power distribution was a state subject) and the credit goes to power discoms.

Therefore, Arvind Kejriwal along with BJP should not sensationalize the whole issue without understanding the ground realities.

Interestingly, it was the same Arvind Kejriwal who in an interview to one of the media houses had stated “the government is too insensitive towards fasts and would not mind much even if you die protesting. Therefore, we entered politics to effect the changes from within.”

Inexplicably, what urged him to fast again when he had fittingly realized the indifference of government towards fasting protesters?

A mechanical engineering graduate with a post graduation in marketing and sales, Ashish has combined professional experience of more than 4 years. Ashish is a great fan of Martin Scorsese. He loves to write poetry in his spare time. He lives in Shimla.

32 Comments

  • I will answer this to you Mr Congress paid Editor

    “Inexplicably, what urged him to fast again when he had fittingly realized the indifference of government towards fasting protesters? ”

    Answer: “Awakening people” … “Gathering masses”…”To remove fear from peoples mind”, Thats what the fast was for.
    Result: 10.5 Lakhs have signed.

  • The author should better be knowing why he fasted! Without knowing the whole story don’t judge anyone. This is one of the biggest problem these days with media.

  • Heads up to anyone who is wondering about reading the article. I wasted my time so you don’t have to.

    TLDR: Paid Media or Incompetent journalist or both. Simply note the name of the author and filter your results henceforth.

  • Really? If the companies aren’t making huge profits then how do you explain the following :
    1. They showed 0 power consumption of 10% electricity connections in Delhi.
    2. They showed 0 power consumption by the DJB.
    3. They showed 0 power consumption by the Delhi Airport.
    4. They pay the workers only Rs. 400 and get it signed by them that they received Rs. 900.
    5. Power losses have gone down by 40% in the last 10 years. It means thousands of crores of money has been saved. It was promised that as the power loss decreases, so would the price. What happened? Prices doubled, tripled.
    6. Baljinder Singh did sign the order. It would have been presented on the morning of 5 May 2010. Why did Shiela Dikshit write to Baljinder Singh to stop the order?
    7. Baljinder Singh found out that the companies were not facing a loss of 630 Cr Rupees as they claimed, infact, they were making a profit of 3600 Cr Rupees. He said the prices should be halved within 5 years.
    8. Since Sudhakar, one of Shiela Dikshit’s pets, has took over, why is he increasing the prices on the pretext that the power companies are facing losses, when Baljinder Singh found out that they are infact making profit?
    9. Why doesn’t Shiela Dikshit get it audited by CAG?
    10. Why was BJP silent for 3 years?

  • “Therefore, the service provider should also be penalized and not protected at any cost but discouraging people from paying bills is totally appalling.”
    Poor journalists like you do not deserve to be in this profession. Do you even understand the agony that the poor people have to go through? If you cared to visit the Upwaas Sthal to present a well-balanced view (which is expected of good journalists, unlike you), you would have seen the condition and plight of the slum dwellers who have received bills of thousands and lakhs! They are pressurized to first pay the amount and only then would the metres be chekced, otherwise, their power supply would be cut. They are being terrorized.
    A country whose people are afraid of the govt and the corporates isn’t a democracy. Fear has to be removed from their minds. This was the purpose of Upwaas.

  • It does not take a genius to figure out this is a paid article, the author talks about high prices of coal for higher electricity prices but does not mention why coal prices are high we don’t have any short supply of coal we have tons and tons of coal mines.
    Dear writer you will get 15 minutes of fame using Arvind Kejariwal’s name but will be known as person who sold journalism for money

  • Ok so Mr. Editor you feel this is a gimmick. Good!!! that’s what expected. you discussed slum dwellers. Can u also please discuss ministers who are not paying bills and gvt. doesnt dare to touch them. Why u people dont see both side of the coin?
    If this country benefits from Kejriwal and Co. even .5% what does it harms you?

  • Hill Post News is biased and against Aam Aadmi Party and Aam Aadmi. Therefore beware of this paper’s articles. How many people would believe in Ashish Pandey from now on? None. It is a shame on this paper and the writer. This paper is misguiding the Aam Aadmi and therefore, a Public Interest Litigation may be brought up against this paper. Ashish should ask for an apology through publication in Hill Post.

  • I think the journalist is quite apt and to the point in most of things. Even I was Kejriwal supporter at one point of time but now after he has split with Anna because of his over ambitions I have also distanced myself from his organization like many others.
    His interview to Abhinandan Sekhri on Newslaundry is worth watching and clears many doubts.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAXpuH43cs4
    watch it at 7.30 and meaning of the writer in the conluding lines would be clear if it is what the author wanted to state and I am not wrong in catching his viewpoint.
    Interestingly, it was the same Arvind Kejriwal who in an interview to one of the media houses had stated “the government is too insensitive towards fasts and would not mind much even if you die protesting. Therefore, we entered politics to effect the changes from within.”
    Inexplicably, what urged him to fast again when he had fittingly realized the indifference of government towards fasting protesters?

    • Dear Sir, you are not aware about the intension of Fast of Arvind. And without knowing , you have written this all paragraph. I think , only you left Arvind otherwise all IAC people also alongwith him. You have done a very wise thing as you left him because without understanding him , it is of no use to be with him. So it is very necessaru for you to understand the motive of fast and then write your full paragraph about AAP.

  • everyone knows why Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal Split.I was also supporter of kejriwal before but now don’t stand with him any more as he is over ambitious unlike saint Annna.I support Anna whole heartedly?

    • Dear Kanchan,

      I think you are happy with current situation and politics. Kejriwal is the hope for India. He was fasting, working hard for all of us, but Congress cheated and havent pass the Bill. so obvious he will come in power and change the system. Can i change the system or can i pass the bill being an Aam Aadmi? cmon this job is for policticians so we want him to fight in Delhi Election and win..

      • Funny..you are supporting Anna, who supported the Bijli Paani movement of Arvind Kejriwal…but not supporting AK!!

  • Why you Editors writing these paid articles? why you decreasing your popularity by posting these fake, nonsense articles to your site? We not gonna visit your site if you keep writing these type of paid article.

  • Ashish Pandey – You can criticize Arvind as many times as you want but it will not solve problems we have.

    To understand Arvind you need to think like Arvind. You need to think like Kranti-Kari.

  • I have read the above article and each and every comment above .I have also been following the autghor for quite soem time now..The people’s emotions can be ajudged very well from their comments.I wont be mentioning here that whether i support kejriwal , nor will i get into a debate of anna Vs kejriwal, Though it is imperative to mention here that i have been priviledged here to be a part of the August Kranti. I admire kejriwal and his relentless efforts bur something which is little dis heartning is that when the same author posted an article few days back about media bias towards Kejriwal, we all showered praises and supported the entire article whole heartedly.But the very next article has our heads boiling.

    Dear Friends we need to face critisism with the same attitude as we face adulation. one of the comments is that we shall not read the article of this author, im sure even kejriwal reads all his critism because that gives an individual opportunity for improvement.

    Disclaimer: i have not been paid by author for that matter so kindly don’t start a debate on this.

    • Jivisha, When someone write bad about BJP/Congress then political parties give money to editors/media to not to shjow their news on channels, When someone writes good things about Kejriwal, then again Congress/BJP gives money to editors/media to write bad thinks about Kejriwal.Simple. Some Media/ editors are being paid for these issues, thats why they write good /bad stuff for only money.

    • Swaraj is not socialism. Swaraj is decentralization. It has not failed miserably in the world. Infact, decentralization has worked like magic wherever it has been implemented.
      Decentralization is in place in the USA, Europe and Brazil. Take the example of Porto Alegre. You can do a google search to find out about the experiment. Decentralization changed the region from an underdeveloped, uneducated and corrupt place to one with highest rates of literacy, lowest rates of corruption and high levels of basic amenities.
      Decentralization has also been experimented in India in some villages of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and it worked just like magic. Transformed the whole place. And this is what is democracy. Democracy is not voting once in 5 years. People must be empowered to make the decisions themselves!

      • Well, you seem to present yourself as an “all-knower” but actually are making a fool of yourself. Swaraj is not socialism. Swaraj is decentralization. It has not failed miserably in the world. Infact, decentralization has worked like magic wherever it has been implemented.
        Decentralization is in place in the USA, Europe and Brazil. Take the example of Porto Alegre. You can do a google search to find out about the experiment. Decentralization changed the region from an underdeveloped, uneducated and corrupt place to one with highest rates of literacy, lowest rates of corruption and high levels of basic amenities.
        Decentralization has also been experimented in India in some villages of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and it worked just like magic. Transformed the whole place. And this is what is democracy. Democracy is not voting once in 5 years. People must be empowered to make the decisions themselves!

        • First and foremost, if you read blog properly you will understand that it was not about decentralisation of power but promoting socialism in the lines of communist. Decentralization of power should be there but not at the cost of undermining the democracy and making it a communist regime where some people will decide your fate. Read the blog properly and read about how socialism will always result in high prices, inflation and corruption as some people will benefited by making government put their hands in pocket of bread earners. Serious advise to you please read it properly, i am in favour of decentralisation of power, to put fine point on it; less government and free market. If you really wanted to know what m talking about, read the free market ideology where government serves the function of protecting individual rights by apprehending criminals, stopping foreign aggressors, and running the courts. What swaraj Kejriwal is talking about in his book “Swaraj”, it is totally different and leaning towards communism; where they wanted to fix prices. Read the blog properly then will see who made the fool of himself. 

  • How much money you are taken from congress (Cooongress) party.
    You don’t know about history of India. First study about history of India. Especially after 1947. Then come & write a article.

  • Stupid kejritard supporters can’t even take a criticism which is very real. Congress is turning the fight into bjp vs kejritard. I am with modi for the reasons, he is proven and he doesn’t talk about socialism like kejritard does. Kejritard needs to go to micro economics again. He is only better for fasting nothing else.

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